Monday, 12 January 2015

Ever wondered what is included in Tony Abbott's Direct Action plan?

Australian voters have been hearing about Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s greenhouse gas emissions policy for some years now.

This appears to be the core of the opt-in Direct Action Plan:

The Emissions Reduction Fund is the centrepiece of the Government’s Direct Action Plan….
The Emissions Reduction Fund will provide incentives for businesses, not punish them…..
The Emissions Reduction Fund will focus on lowest-cost emissions reductions…..
Emissions reduction methods will set out the rules for estimating emissions reductions from different activities.
the Emissions Reduction Fund has three elements:
            crediting emissions reductions
            purchasing emissions reductions, and
            safeguarding emissions reductions…..
The safeguard mechanism will apply at the facility level rather than the company level and will be restricted to facilities with direct emissions of 100 000 tonnes of CO2-e a year or more. This approach will make the mechanism highly efficient by covering approximately 52 per cent of Australia’s emissions while limiting the number of covered businesses to around 130….
The Government will work with businesses to establish a flexible framework for complying with the safeguard in the unlikely event of baselines being exceeded…..
A menu of methods will be available so that businesses can easily participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund using the methods that best suit their specific projects…..
As occurs under the Carbon Farming Initiative, Australian Carbon Credit Units will constitute personal property with legal title registered on the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units. This will provide certainty for businesses and ensure that emissions reductions are credible. It will also give businesses the flexibility to sell their credits into the Emissions Reduction Fund or to use them in other ways, such as in voluntary offset programmes…. [Abbott Government Emissions Reduction Fund White Paper 2014]

As befits any Abbott Government policy, the Direct Action plan is still rather vague on precise detail.

However, this hilarious little anti-burping, anti-farting kill-em-early-and-kill-em-plenty management plan is apparently being considered for absorption into the Emissions Reduction Fund:

Herd management projects
(1) For paragraph 106(1)(a) of the Act, this determination applies to an emissions avoidance offsets project which can reasonably be expected to avoid emissions from cattle by any of the following:
(a) reducing the average number of days from birth to slaughter in the herd;
(b) reducing the average age of the herd;
(c) reducing the number of animals in the herd.

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