Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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A Bill for an Act to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, and for related purposes
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Registered 05 Dec 2006
Introduced Senate 30 Nov 2006

2004‑2005‑2006

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Change Action Bill 2006

 

No.     , 2006

 

(Senator Milne)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, and for related purposes

      


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................ 1

2............ Commencement.................................................................................. 1

3............ External Territories............................................................................. 2

4............ Act binds the Crown.......................................................................... 2

5............ Application of Criminal Code............................................................ 2

6............ Interpretation...................................................................................... 2

7............ Objects of Act.................................................................................... 3

Part 2—Ratification and implementation                                                                  4

8............ Ratification......................................................................................... 4

9............ National climate change action plan.................................................... 4

10.......... Kyoto target....................................................................................... 4

11.......... Annual greenhouse gas inventory and national communication......... 4

12.......... Framework for involvement in international trading schemes............ 5

13.......... Emission reduction targets.................................................................. 6

14.......... Inquiry into greenhouse gas emissions............................................... 6

15.......... National energy savings target............................................................ 7

16.......... Minimum price for renewable energy................................................. 7

Part 3—Prohibition of logging in old growth forests                                            8

17.......... Prohibition of logging in old growth forests....................................... 8

Part 4—Amendment of other Acts                                                                                9

18.......... Amendment of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999            9

19.......... Amendment of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000............. 9

20.......... Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006............ 9

Schedule 1—Amendment of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999           10

Schedule 2—Amendment of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000              11

Schedule 3—Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006             13

 


A Bill for an Act to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Climate Change Action Act 2006.

2  Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3  External Territories

                   This Act extends to the external Territories.

4  Act binds the Crown

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  Nothing in this Act renders the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

5  Application of Criminal Code

                   The Criminal Code applies to all offences against this Act.

6  Interpretation

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

commitment period means the period during which average greenhouse gas emissions must not exceed the relevant target.

Convention means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (including any Annexes to the Convention), a copy of the English text of which is set out in Schedule 1, as amended by any amendment of the Convention that Australia accepts, a copy of the English text of which is set out in the regulations.

greenhouse gas emissions means emissions of greenhouse gases measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents.

Kyoto Protocol means the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a copy of the English text of which is set out in Schedule 2, as amended by any amendment of the Protocol that Australia accepts, a copy of the English text of which is set out in the regulations.

Minister means the Minister responsible for Climate Change and Energy.

proposal means a project or process or activity, or any group of proposals or processes or activities.

sink means a process, activity or mechanism that removes greenhouse gases or their precursors from the atmosphere.

source category means the sources of greenhouse gas emissions defined in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol, as amended from time to time.

7  Objects of Act

             (1)  The Parliament, by passing this Act, acknowledges:

                     (a)  that changes in the Earth’s climate and its adverse circumstances are a common concern of all humankind; and

                     (b)  that human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases; and

                     (c)  that these gases increase the natural greenhouse effect; and

                     (d)  that this increase will result in additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere; and

                     (e)  that this may adversely affect ecosystems and humankind.

             (2)  The objects of this Act are to:

                     (a)  ensure that Australia meets its obligations under the Convention; and

                     (b)  assist with global efforts to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent further human interference with the climate system; and

                     (c)  achieve this level within a timeframe sufficient to:

                              (i)  allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change; and

                             (ii)  safeguard human health and well‑being; and

                            (iii)  ensure that food production is not threatened; and

                            (iv)  enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.


 

Part 2Ratification and implementation

8  Ratification

                   The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia must deposit its instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol with the United Nations within 60 days of the commencement of this Act.

9  National climate change action plan

             (1)  In order to achieve Australia’s quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments under Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol, the Minister must prepare a national climate change action plan, setting out a detailed implementation strategy to meet Australia’s obligations under Article 2 of the Kyoto Protocol.

             (2)  The Minister must cause a copy of the national climate change action plan to be tabled in each House of the Parliament as soon as practicable after the plan has been prepared.

10  Kyoto target

                   The Minister must ensure that Australia’s aggregate human induced carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases listed in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol in the first commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, do not exceed its assigned amount of 108% of the 1990 levels inscribed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.

11  Annual greenhouse gas inventory and national communication

             (1)  The Minister must establish a national system for estimation of human induced emissions by sources and removals sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, in accordance with Australia’s obligations under Article 5 of the Kyoto Protocol and accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

             (2)  The Minister must publish its annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with Australia’s obligations under Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol and submit it for review by expert review teams pursuant to the relevant decisions of the Conference of Parties as set out in Article 8 of the Kyoto Protocol.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a copy of the inventory published in accordance with subsection (2), together with the outcomes of any review conducted in accordance with subsection (2), to be tabled in each House of the Parliament.

             (4)  The Minister must also submit a national communication in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of the Kyoto Protocol and subject to subsequent decisions by the Conference of the Parties.

12  Framework for involvement in international trading schemes

             (1)  The Minister must develop a mechanism to allow for the international transfer in emission reduction units including:

                     (a)  the transfer or acquisition of units from or to other parties to the Kyoto Protocol that result from projects aimed at reducing human induced emissions by sources or enhancing human induced removals by sinks of greenhouse gases; and

                     (b)  the transfer of emission reduction units under the clean development mechanisms.

             (2)  In developing a mechanism under subsection (1), the Minister must establish a registry of emission units in order to:

                     (a)  ensure, for the first and subsequent commitment periods, the accurate accounting of:

                              (i)  the issue, holding, acquisition, transfer, retirement and cancellation of emission reduction units; and

                             (ii)  the carry‑over of assigned amount units, certified emission reduction units and emission reduction units; and

                     (b)  ensure, in accordance with Article 7.4 of the Kyoto Protocol, the accurate, transparent and efficient exchange of information between the registry and equivalent overseas registries.

13  Emission reduction targets

             (1)  The regulations must set targets for reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

             (2)  Initial targets set by the regulations must not be more than 108% of the 1990 emission levels in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, beginning on 1 January 2008 and ending on 31 December 2012.

             (3)  After the year 2020, the regulations must set a target which is at least 20% below the 1990 emission levels.

             (4)  After the year 2050, the regulations must set a target which is at least 80% below the 1990 emission levels.

             (5)  The Minister must, by 31 March each year, table in each House of the Parliament a report of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in the previous year.

Note:          For example, the report accounting for the emissions in 2010 must be tabled by 31 March 2011.

             (6)  Without limiting the generality of this Part, the Minister must consider the introduction of any or all of the following in order to promote the achievement of the emission reduction targets:

                     (a)  a greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme;

                     (b)  a scheme for the taxation of greenhouse gas emissions;

                     (c)  an energy efficiency credit trading scheme;

                     (d)  any other scheme the Minister considers likely to contribute to the achievement of the emission reduction targets.

14  Inquiry into greenhouse gas emissions

             (1)  After each period of five years commencing on the date of commencement of this Act, the Minister must cause a public inquiry to be conducted to be completed within six months, by the department responsible for climate change and energy, into the level of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

             (2)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report of an inquiry conducted under subsection (1) to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days of its completion in accordance with subsection (1).

             (3)  The Minister must take the recommendations of an inquiry conducted under subsection (1) into account in making regulations under section 13.

15  National energy savings target

             (1)  A national energy savings target is established by this section.

             (2)  The national energy savings target for each year after 2008 must be equivalent to the predicted growth in national energy consumption for that year.

             (3)  The Minister must cause a document setting out the national energy savings target to be tabled in each House of the Parliament on the first sitting day of that House after 31 March in each year after 2008.

16  Minimum price for renewable energy

             (1)  The regulations must specify a minimum price to be paid to generators of electricity, for electricity generated by eligible renewable energy sources, for a set period.

             (2)  The regulations must come into force no later than 1 January 2010.

             (3)  In this section, eligible renewable energy sources has the meaning given in section 17 of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000.


 

Part 3Prohibition of logging in old growth forests

17  Prohibition of logging in old growth forests

                   It shall be an offence for a person to conduct logging activities in any forest that is ecologically mature and or where the upper stratum or overstorey is in the late mature growth phase.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual — 5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate — 50,000 penalty units.


 

Part 4Amendment of other Acts

18  Amendment of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

                   The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is amended as set out in Schedule 1.

19  Amendment of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000

                   The Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 is amended as set out in Schedule 2.

20  Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006

                   The Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006 is amended as set out in Schedule 3.


 

Schedule 1Amendment of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

1  After Subdivision F of Division 1 of Part 3

Insert:

Subdivision FAOffences relating to greenhouse gas emissions

24B  Offence relating to greenhouse gas emissions

             (1)  A person must not take an action which is likely to result in the emission of more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere in any 12 month period.

Civil penalty:           

                     (a)  for an individual — 5,000 penalty units;

                     (b)  for a body corporate — 50,000 penalty units.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to an action if:

                     (a)  an approval of the taking of the action is in operation under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (b)  Part 4 lets the person take the action without an approval under Part 9 for the purposes of this section; or

                     (c)  there is in force a decision of the Minister under Division 2 of Part 7 that this section is not a controlling provision for the action and, if the decision was made because the Minister believed the action would be taken in a manner specified in the notice of the decision under section 77, the action is taken in that manner; or

                     (d)  the action is an action described in subsection 160(2) (which describes actions whose authorisation is subject to a special environmental assessment process).


 

Schedule 2Amendment of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000

1  At the end of subsection 17(2)

Add:

                   ; (c)  waste derived from forestry activities.

2  Section 39

Repeal the section, substitute:

39  Renewable power percentage

                   The renewable power percentage for a year is the percentage set out in the following table:

 

 

Year

Percentage

 

2007

10.0

 

2008

11.0

 

2009

12.0

 

2010

13.0

 

2011

14.0

 

2012

15.0

 

2013

16.0

 

2014

17.0

 

2015

18.0

 

2016

19.0

 

2017

20.0

 

2018

21.0

 

2019

23.0

 

2020 and later years

25.0 plus 2% for each year after 2020

3  Section 40

Repeal the section, substitute:

40  Required GWh of renewable source electricity

             (1)  The required GWh of renewable source electricity for a year is the number of GWh set out in the regulations.

             (2)  Before the Governor‑General makes a regulation under subsection (1), the Minister must apply the renewable power percentage to the amount estimated as the amount of electricity that will be required under relevant acquisitions during the year.


 

Schedule 3Amendment of the Energy Efficiency Opportunities Act 2006

1  After section 20

Insert:

20A  Implementation of energy efficiency opportunities

             (1)  If an energy efficiency opportunity identified during an energy efficiency opportunity assessment is assessed by the corporation as having a payback period of less than 3 years, the company must implement a measure to realise the energy efficiency opportunity.

             (2)  If an energy efficiency opportunity identified during an energy efficiency opportunity assessment is assessed by the corporation as having a payback period of less than 10 years, the company must:

                     (a)  report the details of the opportunity and the payback period in a report of the type required by section 21; and

                     (b)  include the details of the opportunity and the payback period in its next annual report.

             (3)  In this section, payback period refers to the time taken for the energy savings associated with an energy efficiency opportunity to amortise the investment costs of that opportunity.