This White Paper sets out the Government’s final positions on the design, implementation and ongoing development of the Emissions Reduction Fund.
A healthy environment and a healthy economy are two essential elements of the Government’s vision for a strong Australia.
Our ability to build a strong Australia depends on our success in lowering business costs, improving competitiveness and protecting the environment for current and future generations.
The Direct Action Plan is an essential element of Australia’s national environment policy framework and encompasses practical actions that will achieve real, measurable results.
The Emissions Reduction Fund is the centrepiece of the Government’s Direct Action Plan.
Global action and Australia’s emissions reduction task
The Australian Government accepts the science of climate change and supports national and global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government is firmly committed to reducing Australia’s emissions to meet its target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Australia’s target poses a significant challenge because emissions are projected to increase without further action. Positive and direct action by the Government, business and community will allow us to meet this challenge (see Figure i). The Emissions Reduction Fund will provide the impetus for businesses and the community to improve practices, invest in new technologies, and reduce our emissions.
The Government will review its position, considering further action and targets in 2015 as part of negotiations on a new global climate change agreement. This review will focus on the extent to which other nations, including the major economies and Australia’s major trading partners, are taking real and comparable actions to reduce emissions.
The Emissions Reduction Fund
The Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund will support Australian businesses and communities to enjoy the benefits of economic growth, increased productivity and a cleaner environment.
It is a practical policy that will reduce Australia’s emissions at low cost, without adding to household and business energy costs. Its processes will be streamlined to ensure that it is easy for businesses to be rewarded for their positive actions.
The Government is committed to supporting economic growth and boosting productivity, while conserving the environment for current and future generations.
The Emissions Reduction Fund will provide incentives for businesses, not punish them.