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Law Reform · Energy & Climate

Senate inquiry into the Federal Government's Direct Action Plan to curb carbon emissions

09 January, 2014

The Environmental Defenders Office (Qld) encourages the public to submit their views to the Senate inquiry on the Federal Government's Direct Action Plan to curb carbon emissions, due 20 Jan 2014.

The Senate inquiry will scrutinise the government's policy to repeal a price on carbon and scrap two key bodies set up by the previous government – replacing them with a Direct Action strategy of paying polluters to cut carbon. The multi-billion-dollar emissions reduction policy will provide polluters with financial incentives to cut emissions rather than punish polluters that fail to meet emissions targets.

The terms of reference for the inquiry ask the Senate environment committee to look at the capacity of the plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions adequately and cost-effectively. It will also examine problems with measuring abatement and how the plan, which involves measures such as tree planting, will affect carbon farming and long-term investment in clean energy.

The Government's Green Paper details how the Emissions Reduction Fund will operate and is also currently open for public comment until 21 Feb 2014. A key criticism of the proposal in the Green Paper is that polluters might receive payment without a binding obligation to cut emissions.

The inquiry has been asked to report by 24 March 2014.

For further information read the following recent commentary or visit the inquiry website.

Environmental Defenders Office Queensland (EDO Qld) gives a strong legal voice to the environment when needed most.

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