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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 »

ACT greenhouse gas reduction benchmark recalculated: lower percentage of total NSW-ACT market, lower population growth

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

The greenhouse gas abatement scheme was the single most effective greenhouse gas abatement measure currently available to the territory, said ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope in the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly on 21 August 2007.

Scheme outlined: Stanhope said: “Under the Electricity (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Act, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission is the scheme regulator in the ACT. One of the commission’s functions as regulator is to determine the greenhouse gas reduction target or benchmark for the ACT in any given year. The scheme is designed to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of electricity. It requires retailers of electricity in the ACT to procure an increasing component of their product from cleaner and greener means, thereby effecting large reductions in associated greenhouse gases.”

Targets met for 2006 compliance year: “The compliance of these retailers in 2005 achieved greenhouse gas emissions abatement of 316,362 tonnes,” Stanhope said. “This is the equivalent of the annual emissions produced by around 73,570 cars. In 2006, there were 14 licensed electricity retailers in the ACT. The report confirms that all ACT electricity retailers have met their obligations under the scheme for the 2006 compliance year.”

Statistics re-worked: “In 2006, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission recalculated the ACT’s percentage of the NSW-ACT market,” said Stanhope. “The result was a lower percentage than previously calculated, which in turn affects the benchmark level. In addition, the population has grown by less than expected, which has also affected the benchmark level as it is based upon emissions per capita. Consequently, there has been a reduction in emissions savings in 2006. A total of 207,379 abatement certificates were surrendered in 2006 under the ACT scheme. This is the equivalent to removing about 48,000 cars from the roads for a year.”

Joint scheme is working: “The greenhouse gas abatement scheme remains the single most effective greenhouse gas abatement measure currently available to the territory. It is supported by the climate change strategy and demonstrates how an inter-jurisdictional emissions trading scheme can work to reduce emissions,” Stanhope said.

Reference: MR Stanhope, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory, Member for Ginninderra, ALP, Debates of the Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, Daily Hansard, Edited proof transcript 21 August 2007. A copy of these proceedings can be accessed at

Posted in ACT, Australia, Emissions, Emissions Trading, Registry | Leave a Comment »

NSW carbon trading scheme on brink of collapse: jobs, companies at risk because of govt inaction, says millionaire Easy Being Green chief

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

The NSW carbon trading scheme was on the brink of collapse as the falling price of credits looked likely to send several companies to the wall, reported The Age (13/9/2007, p.4).

Undermining CO2 efforts: “The announcement of a federal emissions trading scheme has caused the price of carbon credits to plunge from $12 to $6. This was undermining companies such as Easy Being Green, which helped households cut greenhouse gas emissions in return for carbon credits. Easy Being Green would hold a rally in Sydney, expected to be attended by hundreds of people protesting against the NSW Government’s decision not to bolster the Greenhouse Gas Abatement scheme”.

Govt inaction: “More than 1000 jobs would be lost through the collapse of the scheme, Easy Being Green chief executive Paul Gilding said. “The purpose of our company is not to make money but to cut carbon,” he said. “The real tragedy is that next year there will be 10 million tonnes of carbon that won’t be cut because this policy, which has been successful, will be scrapped. We know how to cut emissions, we have distributed 10 million low-energy light globes to NSW homes, saved households over $150 million a year off energy bills, but we can’t do it at the current prices. It is outrageous that the NSW Government hasn’t done more to extend the scheme.”

The Age, 13/9/2007, p. 4

Posted in Australia, Carbon Price, Markets, NSW, Policy, Protest, Registry | Leave a Comment »

New NSW NGAC rules cut-back give-away light bulb, showerhead trades after trades spiked to 2.8 million CFLs, 60,000 showerheads, in June 2007 quarter

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Changes to the Demand Side Abatement (DSA) Rule, implemented in October 2006, had resulted in an increase in the proportion of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and water-efficient showerheads directly installed, reported NSW government greenhouse registry GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5 (10/9/2007).

Fewer giveaway programs: “In the quarter to June 2007, over 80 per cent of CFLs and 70 per cent of showerheads distributed by GGAS accredited Abatement Certificate Providers (ACPs) were installed rather than given away. Only two ACPs are now conducting giveaway programs,” the newsletter reported. “2.8 million CFLs were distributed in the quarter to June 2007, double the number distributed in the March quarter. In total, over 16 million CFLs have been distributed since the Scheme commenced. Over 60,000 showerheads were distributed in the same period, bringing the total number of showerheads distributed under the Scheme to 1.3 million.”

Varied business models: “There are now 10 ACPs accredited for projects distributing CFLs and showerheads, with nine applications currently under consideration by the Scheme Administrator,” the newsletter said. “In response to the growing variety of business models used by ACPs and applicants, the Scheme Administrator recently circulated for comment proposed minimum requirements for Default Abatement Factor (DAF) installation programs. These seek to achieve consistency across the Scheme with respect to legal relationships between ACPs and installers, installer training, and customer service. Currently, the Scheme Administrator is evaluating the feedback received. Accredited ACPs will have a two month period to adjust their programs before the minimum requirements are introduced. The Scheme Administrator would like to thank all those who provided feedback on the proposal.”

Reference: GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007

Posted in Australia, Energy Efficiency, How to make money, Markets, NSW, Policy, Registry | Leave a Comment »

Buyer beware: “Voluntary” credit NGAC buyers warned NSW government does not verify the green-accounting, of the seller

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

Over the past two years, the level of interest in using NSW Greenhouse Abatement Certificates (NGACs) to voluntarily offset greenhouse gas emissions had increased significantly, according to the GGAS Newsletter, of the NSW government, Issue 5, (10/9/2007). “Much of this interest comes from increasing desire to achieve a ‘carbon neutral’ status by individuals and organisations,” the newsletter said. “Evidence suggests NGACs are considered to have broad appeal as a standard instrument traded on the open market representing one tCO2-e of abatement.

For the 2006 calendar year;

• 2,660 NGACs were voluntarily surrendered and this year to date;

• over 6,100 NGACs have been voluntarily surrendered.

To facilitate this ‘voluntary’ market participation, the GGAS Registry was upgraded in 2006 to allow organisations other than benchmark participants (the liable parties) to surrender NGACs. It should be noted that while the Scheme Administrator accepts voluntary surrenders through the Registry, it does not provide any verification as to whether the volume of NGACs surrendered equates to the participant achieving carbon neutrality.”

Surrendered certificates cannot be reused: “To voluntarily surrender (also known as retire) NGACs, an account on the Registry must be opened and NGACs transferred into that account. Certificates can then be surrendered on the Registry.

Not an offset: Purchasing and holding NGACs in a Registry account does not equate to achieving an offset. NGACs must be surrendered to be effective in offsetting a participant’s carbon footprint. There are important deadlines that voluntary participants need to consider when deciding to surrender NGACs. Individuals can voluntarily surrender NGACs at any time between 1 July and 20 June of each financial year.

Certificates that have been surrendered before 20 June of each financial year will be accepted by the Scheme Administrator and on 30 June of each year all surrendered certificates will be cancelled by the Registry and the certificates cannot be un-surrendered or reused. As a tradeable commodity with a market value, voluntary participants should carefully consider the volume of NGACs they wish to surrender to offset their carbon footprint, as once surrendered, the commodity cannot be retrieved.”

Reference: For further information regarding opening and managing an account on the Registry see the Registry FAQs on our website at
For further information regarding the process for voluntary surrender on the Registry, see the fact sheet on our website at
GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007,

Posted in Australia, Credits, Markets, Policy, Registry, VERs, Voluntary | Leave a Comment »

NSW planners prepare to close NGACs system; prepare for transition to national emissions trading

Posted by gmarkets on 15 September, 2007

The announcement by the Prime Minister in early June that the Commonwealth Government will introduce a national emissions trading scheme follows the announcement in February by all state and territory leaders that their governments would, in the absence of a Commonwealth commitment, implement a national emissions trading scheme by the end of 2010, reported GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5 (10/9/2007). Transition to national scheme: “Clearly it is now highly likely that Australia will, one way or the other, have a national cap and trade emissions trading scheme within the next five years. Both proposals make clear that the ongoing operation of GGAS would be inconsistent with a national scheme and that transition arrangements will be necessary. The GGAS Scheme Administrator will work with relevant policy agencies as required in assisting with the development of transition proposals,” the newsletter said.

13.8m certificates surrendered: “During 2006 there was a very high level of compliance with Scheme requirements by both benchmark participants and accredited certificate providers,” reported the newsletter. “All benchmark participants have reduced or offset their emissions to their benchmark levels in 2006 or have carried forward a small shortfall. These offset obligations were met through the surrender of 13,802,181 abatement certificates (or their equivalent in Renewable Energy Certificates) representing abatement of an equivalent number of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. …At the end of 2006, there were 167 accredited abatement certificate providers eligible to create abatement certificates, an increase from 146 providers accredited at the end of 2005. This represents a growth in participation in the Scheme by organisations undertaking activities to reduce emissions or enhance the removal of greenhouse gases.”

Numbers of certificates almost double: “These projects created almost 20 million abatement certificates during 2006, which is almost double the 10 million created in 2005. In 2006, the NSW Government extended the Scheme to 2021 or until the establishment of a national emissions trading scheme.” An electronic copy of the report can be downloaded from the Scheme website at

Reference: GGAS Newsletter, Issue 5, September 2007

Posted in Australia, Emissions Trading, NSW, Policy, Registry | Leave a Comment »