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Emissions Reduction Fund: Terms of Reference

I didn’t have to wait long – here are the Terms of Reference for the Emissions Reduction Fund! We all have until 18 November 2013 to send in our pearls of wisdom.

I can see why they used ‘Terms of Reference’ – a few terms – yes, details – no! A green paper will follow in December with a white paper of firm proposals not released until 2014.

What are we to make of this?

It’s a bit cheeky really. For those following the debates this year, we received more information on the Coalition’s plans in speeches leading up to the election than we did in the ‘Terms of Reference’. For example, the Coalition flagged reducing the permanence requirement to 25 years – now the word ‘permanence’ does not even appear in the terms of reference. And where the Coalition was definitely going to use the CFI as the vehicle for the Direct Action juggernaut – that seems no longer certain.

Noises like ‘low cost, large scale’ abatement are not encouraging for niches like the Aboriginal carbon sector which has higher costs for governance and remoteness, not to mention the high upfront costs of land projects in general.

Three years after releasing the Direct Action Plan, the Government now seems to be on a fishing trip for good ideas for how to do it. So it’s a chance for everyone to make their case to shape the policy rather than react to it… but with only a few weeks between the submission date and the scheduled release of the green paper, you suspect a lot of the paper is written, with a few holes waiting for bright ideas.

I’ve updated the Direct Action page to reflect submission dates etc and will keep doing so as details come to hand.


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