Tuesday, November 24, 2009


24 November 2009

The following is the section of the Australian Government's offer to the Opposition to wintheoir support in the Senate for the CPRS Package.

Agriculture excluded
• The Government makes a policy commitment to exclude agriculture indefinitely from the
• The Government will amend the CPRS bill to explicitly exclude agriculture emissions from
the scheme:
– this means that a future act of Parliament would be required to reverse this decision,
providing additional certainty to the sector.
• The Government will work with industry to:
– monitor world‟s best practice in reducing agricultural emissions and consider a range of
ways in which the agriculture sector can contribute to the transition to a low-pollution
economy; and
– introduce voluntary emissions reporting trials in 2011 to allow the sector to better
understand and manage its emissions.

• The Government commits to conducting a Productivity Commission review in 2015 of
whether the sector is at world‟s best practice mitigation and an examination of the potential
measures to achieve this.
- Legislative amendment in the November sitting.
- Policy commitment to be incorporated in Hansard or laid before Parliament.
- Government will work with stakeholders to revise the work programme to incorporate policy
• The Government will introduce amendments to provide for crediting of abatement from
agricultural emissions and other sectors not covered by the CPRS (for example, legacy waste)
that are counted towards Australia‟s international climate change obligations, with the
following features:
– a policy and legislative framework that ensures any domestic offsets meet
internationally accepted principles of permanence, additionality, measurability,
avoidance of leakage, independent audit and registration;
– promotion of best practice standards;
– an independent expert committee will be established to vet offset methodologies and
recommend robust methodologies to the Minister for approval: This means that the Minister would accept or reject methodologies, but would not be able to modify the committee‟s recommendations
– provisions for interested persons to refer methodologies for assessment by the
independent expert committee;
– approval of projects and crediting of abatement from commencement of the CPRS on
1 July 2011;
– compliance requirements, including monitoring, reporting, record-keeping, auditing and
appropriate enforcement mechanisms; and
– legislation would be flexible and would allow new sources to be included once they are
recognised in Australia‟s international commitments.
• CPRS permits will be provided for abatement from the sources that are counted towards
Australia‟s international commitments, subject to the development of robust methodologies:
– livestock
– manure management
– fertiliser use
– burning of savannas
– burning of agricultural residues
– rice cultivation
– avoided deforestation
– legacy waste
– emissions from closed landfill facilities.
• The Government will continue advocating in the international climate change negotiations to
ensure the post-2012 accounting rules only require countries to account for emissions and
removals of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity.
• In the meantime, the Government will promote voluntary market offsets through
implementation of the National Carbon Offset Standard. This will provide scope for a market
for abatement from the following sources that are not counted towards Australia‟s
international commitments:
– agricultural soils (grazing and crop land management), including biosequestration
through soil carbon and biochar;
– enhanced forest management; and
– non-forest revegetation and vegetation management.
• Abatement from these sources will transition into the CPRS once abatement is internationally
recognised and provided that other CPRS requirements are met.
• To facilitate this, NCOS methodologies would be assessed by the same expert independent
expert committee responsible for advising the Minister on CPRS offset methodologies and
NCOS requirements would be consistent with those of the CPRS wherever possible.
• To further enhance the environmental outcomes from the CPRS, the Government will also:
– provide credits for regrowth forests on deforested land (legally cleared between 1990
and 31 December 2008);
– provide credits for soil carbon on deforested land (for land legally cleared between 1990
and 31 December 2008) from 2013;
– include conditions for forests earning forest credits to have adequate water entitlements
and planning approvals; and
– require that offset projects do not involve, or include material obtained as a result of,
clearing or harvesting of native forests.
- Offset chapter to be included in amendment in November sitting and detailed in supplementary
Explanatory Memorandum.
- Regrowth forests to be included in amendment in 2010.
- Other environmental enhancements to be included via amendments in 2010.
- NCOS to be implemented outside of legislation. Government to advocate improved international
accounting in international negotiations.
- Policy commitments to be incorporated in Hansard or laid before Parliament .
R&D into agricultural abatement
• To assist farmers to take advantage of these expanded offset opportunities, the Government
will provide additional R&D investment of $50 million into the development and on-farm
testing of emissions reduction options, including biosequestration and livestock, supported by
the voluntary reporting trial. This funding would include support for the development of a
global alliance on agricultural mitigation research proposed by New Zealand.
Green Carbon Fund
• The Government will establish a $40 million Green Carbon Fund to build the resilience of
natural ecosystems that are under threat from climate change.
• The first stream of the fund will provide support to monitor and plan for the impact of climate
change on biodiversity and land and water resources. The second stream will support initiatives to encourage environmental stewardship and biodiversity where there are carbon co-benefits.


- Program appropriated in future Budgets.
- Policy commitments to be incorporated in Hansard or laid before Parliament .

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