The Rudd Government was elected to tackle climate change.
The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme will be the central mechanism by which Australia tackles climate change and is the biggest environmental reform in the nations history.
The deal will ensure that Australia can achieve its ambitious unconditional target of 5 per cent; conditional target of up to 15 per cent and top-end target of 25 per cent off 2000 levels by 2020 if a global 450 parts per million outcome is achieved.
Over time it will ensure the Australian economy makes the transformation to a low pollution future.
The final package being offered by the Government includes new measures which will improve the environmental effectiveness of the CPRS.
1. The Government will ensure the CPRS takes into account voluntary action by households.
Voluntary action by households will now allow Australia to go beyond our 2020 emissions reduction target.
The Government will develop a method for ensuring that the collective voluntary action by households – beyond that projected by the CPRS – will be taken into account in setting future caps.
In addition, the CPRS will be amended to ensure that all existing and future purchases of GreenPower will be counted, and allow Australia to go beyond our 2020 national targets.
3. The Government will establish the National Carbon Offset Standard to provide clarity to consumers and businesses on what constitutes a credible voluntary carbon claim or offset.
Individuals and organisations will be able to be certified as carbon neutral under the National Carbon Offset Standard.
The National Carbon Offset Standard will be released today and come into effect from 1 July 2010.
4. Automatic statutory review of the CPRS legislation will occur when Australia signs a new multilateral agreement
The Government will require an automatic statutory review of the CPRS legislation, including EITE policy, as soon as practicable after Australia signs a new multilateral agreement on climate change which imposes obligations to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The review will examine the implications of that agreement for the CPRS. In line with existing policy, five years notice will be given to any modifications to the EITE assistance program, unless modifications were required for compliance with Australias international trade obligations.
5. Recognising Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014 Review
The CPRS will take into account developments in the consensus science.
The Minister will direct the Independent Expert Advisory Committee to take into account the findings of Working Group III of the IPCC when considering appropriate caps and gateways in the first statutory review of the CPRS in 2014.
6. Productivity Commission Review of Agriculture
The Government commits to conducting a Productivity Commission review in 2015 of whether the agricultural sector is at worlds best practice mitigation and examine potential measures to achieve this.
7. Development of a new Energy Efficiency Mechanism in 2010 with input from a new Prime Ministers Task Group on Energy Efficiency.
The Government will establish a new Prime Ministers Task Group on Energy Efficiency.
The Task Group will report to the Government by mid-2010 on options for introducing a new Energy Efficiency Mechanism.
The Task Group will consider and advise on the most economically and environmentally effective Energy Efficiency Mechanisms that could be considered by the Federal Government to complement the CPRS and the RET.
Green Carbon Fund
8. 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.
9. Low Emissions Transition Incentive
This incentive within the new Electricity Sector Adjustment Scheme will encourage individual electricity generators to invest in new low emissions capacity.
Electricity generators will be able to retain their payments under the Scheme if they replace their current best practice coal fired capacity with equivalent low emissions electricity generation capacity.
10. Coal Mine Abatement Fund
The Government will commit $270m to the Coal Mine Abatement Fund through the Climate Change Action Fund to assist gassy coal mines to invest in emissions reduction activities.