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Litigation over relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming likely for companies

Posted by gmarkets on 9 October, 2007

Recent cases, when judges had to consider climate change issues, highlighted the thorny issue of causation between greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, according to The Australian Financial Review (5/10/2007, p.59).

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Posted in Green Markets 1002, Law | Leave a Comment »

States green-laws banned: Federal data to be secret, but can appeal against Federal Greenhouse chief’s decisions: National Greenhouse, Bill 2007

Posted by gmarkets on 20 September, 2007

States can appeal against Fed Greenhouse chief’s decisions, said Malcolm Turnbull, as he filed amendments for a “right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to enable state and territory governments to appeal against a decision of the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer not to disclose greenhouse and energy information.

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Posted in Accounting, Federal, Green Markets 0919, Hansard, Law, Policy, Regulation | Leave a Comment »

Great Aussie backyard burn-off banned: NSW Govt plan to clean up air quality in metropolitan Sydney

Posted by gmarkets on 20 September, 2007

The great Aussie backyard burn-off has been banned under a State Government plan to clean up air quality in metropolitan NSW, reported The Daily Telegraph (5/9/2007, p.7). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fire, Green Markets 0919, Law, NSW, Pollution, Regulation | Leave a Comment »

Federal judge Robert French rejects ATO’s case that investor’s $30,000 to grow Indian sandalwood between 1998 and 2000 had main purpose of avoiding tax

Posted by gmarkets on 20 September, 2007

According to Patrick Durkin in The Australian Financial Review (17/9/2007, p.8), the Australian Taxation Office’s push to outlaw tax deductions for agricultural investment schemes had suffered a setback after a court ruled they could constitute a “serious commercial venture”. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Agriculture, Deforestation, Forest, Green Markets 0919, Law, Lobby Groups | Leave a Comment »

WA pastoralists asked to vote on the Government’s proposed model for environmental management of the rangelands

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

Western Australia’s pastoralists would have the opportunity to have a direct say on the State Government’s proposed model for pastoral leases for environmental management of the rangelands by getting to vote on the model, reported Farm Weekly, (06/09/2007, p.12) quoting State Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah McTiernan.

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Posted in Agriculture, Deforestation, Ecosystem Trading, Green Markets 0919, Land, Law, Regulation, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

CO2 dump rules in South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland: none appear to deal with earthquake, water quality or leak risks, or, long-term liability

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

South Australia had amended the Petroleum Act 2000 to include CO2 as a regulated substance which can be transported by pipeline. This Act also provides for the granting of a licence to store CO2 in natural reservoirs.

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Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Geosequestration, Green Markets 0919, Law, Policy, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia | Leave a Comment »

Queensland CO2 dump plans: legislative proposals set out CCS Exploration Permits, Potential Commercial Area and Storage Lease arrangements

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

It was proposed that the P&G Act be amended and a new chapter inserted specifically to regulate tenure for CO2 capture and storage, according to the Queensland Department of Mines and Energy report, Carbon dioxide geosequestration tenure administration.

Distinct tenure briefly considered: To recognise the unique nature of CO2 geosequestration, a different tenure, distinct from the existing petroleum tenure, was also contemplated. Queensland was committed to using the MCMPR Regulatory Guiding Principles to develop CCS legislation.

Key issues for new laws: The legislation would aim to be consistent with the MCMPR Regulatory Guiding Principles and deal with the following range of issues:

• location of suitable sites;

• appropriate tenure type and term of tenure;

• capture and transport of CO2;

• access to that land;

• injection of CO2;

• storage of CO2;

• safety;

• monitoring of stored CO2;

• liability, including post-closure/post-project;

• financial;

• approval and assessment

Proposed CCS tenure model: Although the terminology may change the following tenure arrangements are proposed for CCS activities:

• CCS Exploration Permit (CCS EP);

• CCS EP for Retention- Potential Commercial Area (CCS PCA);

• CCS Storage Lease (CCS SL);

EP conditions: A CCS EP will allow the successful proponent to conduct CCS exploration in the permit area and according to the approved work program submitted with the application.

PCA conditions: A CCS PCA will be an option whereby a CCS EP holder has discovered a suitable underground reservoir for CCS storage but no “CCS stream” (yet to be defined) was currently available.

SL conditions: A CCS SL would allow the holder to inject and store a CCS stream into the previously approved CCS reservoir. The activities must be done according to the approved development plan for the project. Site selection will be one of the most important elements of CCS activities with a requirement for a “predictive CCS stream migration model” to be included in the development plan.

Reference: This publication may be printed from or downloaded form the DME website at ww.dme.qld.gov.au For copyright enquries telephone (07) 3237 1644 or send facsimile to (07) 3238 3188. The closing date for submission sis two months from the date of announcement by the Minister. Submissions can be sent by post, facsimile or email. Postal address: Mining Legislation Review, Mining and Petroleum, Department of Mines and Energy, PO Box 15216, City East Qld 4002 Facsimile: (07) 3238 3188 Email: ccsleg@dme.qld.gov.au Please note: This discussion paper is for public discussion and comment and does not commit the government or a Minister either to the views expressed in it or to a particular direction for future action. All submissions will be treated as public documents subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1992. Submissions may take the form of letters or emails addressing the questions asked in the paper, issues of concern, or a list of matters identified by page or section numbers, stating the issues arising and suggested solutions.

Posted in CCS, CO2 Dumps, Gas, Geosequestration, Law, Policy, Queensland | Leave a Comment »

Unannounced Federal bill on CO2 register undercuts State registries, set lower standards

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

The Commonwealth was put on notice to manage greenhouse emissions, and responded with a bill totally misaligned with what the states had done so far, said Mr Gavin Jennings, Victorian Minister for Environment and Climate Change, in the Victorian Legislative Council on 22 August 2007.

States and territories decided to establish benchmark: “A quite extraordinary proposition was put up after the Council for the Australian Federation got together earlier this year,” said Jennings. “The states and territories met and determined that if the commonwealth would not step into this space to regulate, they would do it themselves to make sure they knew what the greenhouse gas emissions system was throughout Australia. The states and territories determined that they would create the benchmark and the capacity to know where we as a nation are travelling with greenhouse generation and be able to drive important reforms, such as emissions trading. We put the commonwealth on notice to come up with a scheme to implement it.”

1400 industries measured in Victoria: “Out of the blue a bill arrived in the federal Parliament last week totally unannounced — and it is totally out of kilter with the current regulatory regime and out of kilter with the way the states and territories have planned to be able to measure reporting mechanisms now and into the future. … In relation to this initiative, the regime that we currently have in place in Victoria under the national pollutant inventory provides for 1400 energy-intensive industries to be measured through that regulatory impact including the state of Victoria.”

Commonwealth proposes monitoring fewer industries: “What has the commonwealth regime introduced? The bill that is before the commonwealth Parliament at the moment not only says, ‘Away with the inventory in Victoria, away with the 1400 companies that are currently being measured across Australia and let’s replace them with 700 companies which fall within the scope of the commonwealth regulation’,” said Jennings. “Not only that but it is particularly unclear in relation to the mechanisms that measure gas and electricity generation through the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO). Is it covered by the bill? The answer is a deafening silence from the commonwealth. We do not know whether it will measure these into the future.”

Reference: Gavin Jennings, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Parliament of Victoria – Legislative Council Daily Hansard, Victoria, 22 August 2007.

Erisk Net

Posted in Australia, Emissions Trading, Hansard, Law, Policy, Registry, Victoria | Leave a Comment »

Queensland vegetation management policy results in 20 megaton annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

A reduction of up to 20 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year through the implementation of the government’s vegetation management policy was the single biggest contribution to Australia’s climate change to date, said Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources and Water, C A Wallace, in the Queensland Parliament on 22 August 2007.

Regulation amends fees: “This regulation,” Wallace said, “which the opposition has requested be not supported, amends fees made under 11 acts that are administered by my portfolio. These are the:

• Acquisition of Land Act 1967;

• Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980;

• Foreign Ownership of Land Register Act 1988;

• Land Act 1994;

• Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002;

• Land Title Act 1994;

• Surveyors Act 2003;

• Valuation of Land Act 1944;

• Valuers Registration Act 1992;

• Vegetation Management Act 1999; and

• Water Act 2000.”

Queensland a leader in climate change management: Wallace said that his department’s implementation of the government’s vegetation management policy, including the end of broadscale land clearing in Queensland on 31 December 2006, had resulted in a reduction of up to 20 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions per year in the first target period to 2012 of global greenhouse emissions accounting. “This is the single biggest contribution to Australia’s climate change to date and places Queensland at the front of the field in response to climate change. It is a shame,” lamented the Minister, “that the begrudging present tenant of The Lodge in Canberra could not even acknowledge this major contribution by Queensland to Australia’s achievement of greenhouse gas reductions in line with Kyoto.”

Reference: CA Wallace, Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland, Member for Thuringowa, Records of Proceedings, First session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Queensland, 22 August 2007.

Posted in Australia, Credits, Emissions, Forest, Law, Queensland, Regulation, Species | 1 Comment »

Qld Bill removes cap on Local Government fees for environmentally relevant activities; endangered plant collecting penalties overhauled

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Local councils would have powers to enforce environmental regulations, including those protecting threatened native plant species, said Queensland’s Minister for Environment L H Nelson-Carr in the Queensland Parliament on 23 August 2007.

Councils will have access to EPA tools: “Most of these changes will happen with the remake of the Environmental Protection Regulation 1998 in 2008,” the Minister said. “However, to help Local Governments with their responsibilities, councils will be provided with access to all the relevant enforcement tools under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 so that they are well equipped to deal with nuisance matters arising from activities that have not been adequately conditioned under their existing approval.”

Councils able to recover costs: “The amendments in the Bill will allow Local Governments to set their own fees for the environmentally relevant activities they administer,” said Nelson-Carr. “Currently, Local Government fees for environmental activities are capped. This cap unfairly limits councils’ abilities to set fees to cover the costs of monitoring these activities. Councils will now be able to set their licence fees for certain environmental activities.”

Penalties to fit the crime: “The second change introduces tiered penalties for offences relating to protected plants to make it clearer that the punishment should fit the crime. At present, offences relating to the taking and use of protected plants under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 can only be pursued on indictment, which means that even the most minor offences lead to a defendant facing a maximum penalty that includes the possibility of imprisonment,” said the Minister. “This is a costly way to deal with minor offences and means that action is often not taken. Queensland has the greatest variety of native plant groups in Australia, with more than 8,000 species of flowering plants, gymnosperms and ferns. About 13 percent of Queensland’s native plant species are protected plants. These plants are in danger of extinction in the next 10 to 50 years unless action is taken to reverse their decline. Apart from vegetation clearing, plant collecting is the greatest threat to many types of protected plant. Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 1994, the harvesting and sale of native plants and plant parts are closely regulated. Consequently, there is a public expectation that enforcement action will be taken for the most serious offences relating to illegal damage or removal of these plants.”

Better guidance on penalties: “Introducing tiered penalties for the protected plant offences will improve practical enforcement of these offences by separating the offences into different classes that carry relative penalties depending on the seriousness of the offence,” Nelson-Carr said. “The maximum penalty for the most serious offences has not changed. For less serious offences, such as just taking one or two vulnerable plants, the maximum penalty will be lower. This will provide courts and defendants with better guidance about the appropriate level of fine.”

Reference: LH Nelson-Carr, Minister for Environment and Multiculturalism, Mundingburra, Australian Labor Party, Records of Proceedings, First session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Queensland, 23 August 2007.

Posted in Australia, Forest, Hansard, Law, Policy, Queensland, Regulation, Species | Leave a Comment »