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Westpac prepares for trading: markets carbon trades to land holders

Posted by gmarkets on 19 September, 2007

Westpac’s head of Regional and Agribusiness Banking, Graham Jennings, said the index results showed some farmers were concerned about the cost and land management implications of carbon trading, reported Queensland Country Life (31/8/2007, p.23).

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Posted in Aggregators, Agriculture, Emissions, Emissions Trading, Finance, Funds, Green Markets 0919, Public Opinion, Queensland | 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 »

Rapid growth of Queensland hardwood timber plantations: economic conditions right for $66.5m long-term investment

Posted by gmarkets on 18 September, 2007

A growing insistence that old growth rainforests be preserved had created a need — and a niche — for plantations that grew and harvested timbers legally to meet the demand, reported The Australian (15/9/2007, p. 7).

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Queensland Pinkenba Ethanol Plant may use “environmental blight” – imported palm oil; cultures and lands threatened

Posted by gmarkets on 17 September, 2007

Queensland Liberal MP Tim Nicholls claimed in the Queensland Parliament on 22 August 2007 that information released to him by the Queensland government under freedom of information rules is misleading. Palm oil not ruled out: Speaking about the state government’s proposal “to build an ethanol plant only 100 metres from homes in Pinkenba”, Nicholls said: “The project has been portrayed by the state government – or certainly its promotions department – as a virtuous outcome. I want to quote from a ministerial promotional opportunity that was released under the FOI application I made. It said that the building of this ethanol plant ‘ticks all the boxes’. It said, ‘It provides environmental benefits, economic benefits and creates jobs.’ What is another feedstock for producing ethanol that is available, cheap and transportable by sea and hence to Pinkenba? The answer is palm oil. Neither the state government nor the proponent has been prepared to rule out the use of palm oil in the Pinkenba ethanol plant.”

Palm oil plantations cause irreparable harm: “I call on the government to clearly rule out approval for an ethanol plant that uses palm oil as a feedstock,” said Nicholls. “Palm oil production for the ethanol industry is an environmental blight on the landscape of Third World countries and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions across the globe. A BBC report a few weeks ago said the UN has been asked to act on this issue. A coalition of environmental groups in Indonesia has called on the United Nations to intervene in a palm oil project being planned in Borneo. The project will allocate up to 1.8 million hectares of land for palm oil plantations. The group fears the project will cause irreparable harm to Indigenous peoples’ territories and cultures.”

Fuel from plants not necessarily green: “Dateline last month also broadcast a story about palm oil production and this should have prompted the minister into immediately ruling out the use of palm oil for ethanol production. The project should not be approved if there is any chance that Pinkenba has been selected so that imported palm oil can be unloaded for use as a feedstock. I hope the minister has not been suckered into the assumption that making fuel from plants must, by definition, be green and renewable. I join the Pinkenba community and Councillor McLachlan and call on the minister to categorically rule out the use of imported palm oil to produce ethanol.”

Reference: Tim Nicholls, Member for Clayfield, Records of Proceedings, First session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Queensland, 23 August 2007.

Erisk Net, 26/8/2007

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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 »

ClimateSmart Living campaign begins in Queensland: 155,000t of greenhouse gas gas emissions per year could be saved by changing light bulbs

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

‘Change a Light Bulb Day’ on September 1 was just one of several government initiatives in the ClimateSmart Living campaign to encourage Queenslanders to make small lifestyle changes that would cumulatively have a big effect, said Premier Peter Beattie in the Queensland Parliament on 22 August 2007.

Change a Light Bulb Day in Queensland: “As part of our climate change strategy, we are moving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the Premier said. “I want to remind members that 1 September is Change a Light Bulb Day in Queensland. I launched this campaign with the minister for the environment, Lindy Nelson-Carr, at the Ekka as part of the government’s 12-month ClimateSmart Living campaign and, along with 5,500 other Ekka goers, pledged to change a light bulb on 1 September. … Change a Light Bulb Day is about encouraging all Queenslanders to change at least one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas. This is about small things making a big difference. One 60 watt incandescent light bulb, running six hours a day, produces 120kg of greenhouse gas each year. A compact fluorescent light, running for the same time, produces only 22kg. If every Queensland household replaced just one incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent one, Queensland would save almost 155,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in a year.”

Series of action days in campaign: “Climate change is real,” Beattie said. “What we do to combat it is critical and it’s up to all of us to do our part to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Changing a light bulb is one easy way everyone can participate and I encourage all Members of this House to take part. Change a Light Bulb Day is the first in a series of state-wide action days encouraging Queenslanders to reduce greenhouse gas. Further ClimateSmart Living promotions include “Cool it by Degrees” asking residents to check their refrigerator temperature for efficiency, “Climate Under Pressure” encouraging motorists to pump up their tyres to reduce fuel, “Splash and Dash Day” to encourage Queenslanders to cut time in showers, as well as “Queensland Unplugged” to encourage people to switch off appliances not in use.”

Reference: PD Beattie, Premier and Minister for Trade, Member for Brisbane Central, Australian Labor Party, Records of Proceedings, First session of the Fifty-Second Parliament, Queensland, 22 August 2007.

Posted in Australia, Energy Efficiency, Hansard, Policy, Queensland | 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 remote sensing program uses satellite imagery to monitor natural environment; maps extent and spread of weeds

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

A new program would use satellite imagery linked to ground work to help researchers observe, map and understand changes to Queensland’s environment, announced Queensland’s Minister for Natural Resources and Water C A Wallace in the Queensland Parliament on 23 August 2007.

Water quality and spread of weeds: “The Queensland government is committed to looking after the state’s vast land, vegetation and water resources,” Wallace said. “Remote sensing technology is a key tool in our approach to sustainable resource management. Today I am pleased to announce that the Department of Natural Resources and Water and the University of Queensland have joined forces to create the most advanced remote sensing program of its kind in Australia. The program has been designed to more effectively monitor the state’s natural environment. The new program will use satellite imagery linked to ground work to help researchers observe, map and understand changes to Queensland’s environment, including water quality and the spread of weeds.”

Two projects: ” Scientists from my department and UQ, as well as students from UQ’s Centre for Remote Sensing and Spatial Science, will take part in the program, which will be based at UQ’s St Lucia campus,” the Minister said. “Researchers will use high-resolution satellite imagery to assess and monitor wildlife habitats and vegetation that filter and improve water quality. Another project will use state-of-the-art satellite sensors to map the extent and spread of weeds such as prickly acacia, rubber vine and lantana. This research will link closely with the government’s Blueprint for the Bush program.”

Joint project covers most of east coast: “This innovative partnership will create a hub of expertise for research using remote sensing by sharing technical expertise, resources and training opportunities,” said Wallace. “The Department of Natural Resources and Water has used remote sensing for years to assist in the use of monitoring land clearing. Under this new program, the Department of Natural Resources and Water will join its resources with UQ, which is recognised as a national and international leader in remote-sensing education and research. The agreement will bring together skilled researchers, major computing capacity and data covering most of Australia’s east coast. This partnership is another example of the Smart State teaming up with our top universities so Queensland can lead the country in research and development.”

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, 23 August 2007.

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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 »