The Climate Change Authority today released its review report on the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
The Authority found that the ERF is performing well, creating incentives for new domestic emissions reductions at low cost that will contribute to Australia’s targets under the Paris Agreement.
The Climate Change Authority Chair, Dr Wendy Craik said ‘In some ways, the ERF has surpassed expectations, contracting 189 million tonnes of emissions reductions over the last two or so years. We think it is a well-administered scheme and our recommendations are intended to enhance the ERF. We did not find any systemic problems’.
‘Investment by both Government and the private sector in ERF offsets, particularly for the land sector should be built on as part of the policy toolkit Australia needs to meet its Paris Agreement emissions reductions goals’ Dr Craik said.
The Authority found that the ERF has a range of checks and balances to bolster its environmental integrity. The independent, expert Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee plays a vital role as the gate-keeper of integrity standards, and the Committee’s method reviews are a key vehicle to ensure that emissions reductions remain robust as the scheme matures.
The Authority has recommended some new measures to help scheme participants become more aware of their obligations, and new tools to help the Clean Energy Regulator enforce breaches of the scheme.
The Authority also recommended new arrangements to enhance the effectiveness of ERF contracts and strengthen signals for new investment in ERF projects.
Stakeholders have highlighted some untapped opportunities for potential abatement on the land. To capture these, the Authority has recommended an enhanced process for method prioritisation and stakeholder engagement as well as new funds for research and development to deliver more domestic abatement.
The Climate Change Authority is an independent statutory agency, established to provide expert advice on climate change policy. The Authority is required by legislation to review the ERF every three years. The ERF is an emissions reduction offsets scheme combined with Government purchasing of abatement, which has been accomplished to date through competitive auctions.
Media contact: Aileen Muldoon
Phone: 0419 112 503