“Securing a clean energy future – The Australian Government’s climate change plan” was released by the Labor Government on 10 July 2011. Commonly referred to as the Clean Energy Future package, it included a broad range of policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive clean energy investment.
The key and most controversial aspect of the package is the carbon pricing mechanism, which came into effect on 1 July 2012 and requires certain businesses to acquire and surrender emissions units for their greenhouse gas emissions. Labelling this a “carbon tax”, the Coalition has campaigned for its abolition, proposing to replace it with the Direct Action Plan.
As it promised during the election, the Coalition introduced legislation to repeal the carbon pricing mechanism as the first item of business for the new parliament (on 13 November 2013). The 11 repeal bills have now been referred to a Senate committee, which is due to report back on 2 December 2013. Also, the Coalition is currently consulting on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund (the centrepiece of its Direct Action Plan).
Alongside the carbon pricing mechanism, the Clean Energy Future package also included various forms of industry assistance and transitional support, the Carbon Farming Initiative, research and development funding and new government agencies/authorities to administer the package. With the proposed introduction of the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan, the fate of some of these aspects of the package is unclear.
This note has been prepared by Corrs Chambers Westgarth and AECOM. It is intended as an ‘at a glance’ summary of the changes to the funding, agencies and programmes introduced under Labor’s Clean Energy Future package that the Coalition proposes to make to transition to its Direct Action Plan. Please click 'Download' to view.
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