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Climate Change

Our experienced Climate Change team regularly publishes articles and updates - the full list of publications appears below. If you'd like to be notified when we add new climate change publications to the site, please go to our subscription page to sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Climate Change Publications

  • Focus: Not-so-dramatic SENEs - Draft Rule on scale efficient network extensions issued

    6 May 2011

    The Australian Energy Market Commission recently issued a Draft Rule and Draft Rule Determination on scale efficient network extensions. While the purpose of this was to facilitate more efficiently the connection of renewable and lower-emissions energy sources to the electricity grid, the adopted solution is considerably more conservative than the one the Ministerial Council on Energy originally proposed. Partner Anna Collyer and Lawyer Fergus Green report.

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  • Focus: Taxing the price of carbon

    20 April 2011

    The Federal Government's proposed carbon pricing scheme may commence as early as July 2012. Many significant aspects of the scheme, including the relevant tax mechanisms, are yet to be settled. Partner Martin Fry comments on some key tax implications for affected companies.

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  • Focus: Garnaut update papers

    31 March 2011

    The Federal Government's expert climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, has now released the last of his papers updating his 2008 climate change review. Partner Grant Anderson reports on the principal findings and recommendations of the update papers, which will be influential in the development of the Government's carbon pricing mechanism

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  • Focus: Government announces 'broad architecture' for new carbon price

    1 March 2011

    The Federal Government and the Greens have announced an agreement on high-level aspects of a new carbon price scheme. The scheme will operate in two phases - a fixed price phase (effectively a tax) and a floating price phase (emissions trading scheme) - and could commence as early as July 2012. Many significant aspects of the scheme, including the fixed price for permits in the first phase, the medium-term emissions reduction targets, the assistance package for industry, household compensation arrangements and the treatment of petrol have yet to be agreed. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Fergus Green report

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  • Focus: Modest progress in Cancun climate talks

    16 December 2010

    International climate change talks in Cancun concluded last Saturday, with a package of formal 'decisions' that will give some support to the case for an Australian carbon price. But progress on the central issue of global emissions cuts was notably limited. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Fergus Green report.

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  • Focus: Carbon Farming Initiative

    25 November 2010

    The Federal Government has released a consultation paper on the design of a scheme for the recognition and accreditation of land-based greenhouse gas abatements. This scheme, known as the Carbon Farming Initiative, will enable landholders and others to create tradable carbon credits from projects that reduce or sequester greenhouse gases. Partner Grant Anderson reports on the proposals

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  • Focus: Planning for vulnerable Victorian coastal communities

    7 September 2010

    Recent decisions by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal have grappled with the difficult scenario of whether to permit intensified development in coastal areas known to be at risk of future flooding from climate change. The results appear dependent upon the status of broader infrastructure adaptation and mitigation actions by councils. The role of water authorities has also come under scrutiny. Partner Chris Schulz and Senior Associate Meg Lee report.

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  • Focus: Action Plan for Climate Change announced in Victoria

    30 July 2010

    Victoria plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 20 per cent compared to 2000 levels by 2020, decreasing greenhouse emissions generated by brown coal power plants by up to four million tonnes by 2014. In the absence of a federal Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, the Brumby Government claims that the strategies in its Victorian Climate Change White Paper will make Victoria the national leader in addressing the challenges associated with climate change. Partner Grant Anderson, Senior Associate Charlie Harrison and Law Graduate Natasha McNamara report

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  • Focus: Energy efficiency: election promises and an update

    28 July 2010

    Last week, the Gillard Government announced its election promises, including its intention to introduce various measures designed to promote energy efficiency in business and industry. In part one of this Focus Partner Chris Schulz and Lawyer Nadia Harrison outline policy announcements on coal-fired power stations, light vehicles and tax deductions for expenditure on commercial buildings. In part two they provide an update on the progress of the recently enacted energy efficiency disclosure regime for commercial buildings

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  • Focus: Changes to Renewable Energy Target scheme passed

    6 July 2010

    The loss of momentum post-Copenhagen does not necessarily mean all carbon pollution reduction activity has stalled. Partner Anna Collyer and Law Graduate Natasha McNamara report on legislation that splits Australia's enhanced Renewable Energy Target scheme into separate large and small-scale schemes

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  • Focus: Energy efficiency survives despite CPRS demise

    4 May 2010

    With last week's announcement by the Federal Government that the carbon pollution reduction scheme will not be introduced until at least 2013, regulatory initiatives designed to promote energy efficiency are likely to play an even greater role in Australian climate change policy. As part of our series on energy efficiency, we outline some recent developments in the building sector and the work of the Prime Minister's Task Group on Energy Efficiency

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  • Focus: CPRS delay turns out the lights on climate policy

    30 April 2010

    The Federal Government this week announced plans to delay its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least 2013. This unexpected backflip, which is inconsistent with the Government's previous strong rhetoric on the need for urgent action on climate change, will exacerbate industry uncertainty about the Government's climate change policy and damage Australia's international credibility. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Fergus Green report

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  • Focus: Legislation to promote energy efficiency

    13 April 2010

    New legislation was introduced into Federal Parliament recently which, if passed, would impose energy related disclosure obligations on those offering to sell, lease or sub-lease office buildings of 2000m2 or more. This Focus is the first in a series on the Federal Government's policies to promote energy efficiency. Partner Chris Schulz and Lawyer Nadia Harrison report

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  • Client Update: Changes to Renewable Energy Target scheme announced

    2 March 2010

    Changes to the Renewable Energy Target scheme announced by the Federal Government will help progress projects to develop wind, solar and geothermal energy that have been on hold. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Nick Buttner report

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  • Focus: Copenhagen - a (small) step forward

    23 December 2009

    After years of planning, months of great expectation, weeks of negotiation, days of drama and a crucial few final hours of exasperated deal-making, world leaders emerged late last Friday with a tentative political accord that sets out the broad framework from which a comprehensive treaty to address climate change may eventually emerge. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Fergus Green report on the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference and its implications for Australia

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  • Paper: One hat does not fit all - Climate change polices in the Asia Pacific region

    18 December 2009

    Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Fergus Green review 13 Asian nations' climate change regimes

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  • Focus: No political bar to US power companies being sued for emitting carbon dioxide

    30 November 2009

    Two recent decisions of Federal Courts of Appeal in different Circuits in the United States have reversed the trend in lower US Courts to allow claims for damages based on climate change to be brought under federal common law nuisance principles. A more recent third decision of a lower federal District Court in a different Circuit, however, is a reminder of the hurdles for any potential climate change plaintiffs. Partners Matthew Skinner and Annette Hughes and Lawyer Julie-Anne Pearce report

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  • Client Update: Federal Government's CPRS offer

    25 November 2009

    Partner Grant Anderson looks at the changes proposed by the Federal Government to its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and compares them with the demands made by the Federal Opposition.

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  • Focus: National Registry of Emissions Units and Authority for the CDM and JI established

    20 October 2009

    The Federal Government has fulfilled its Kyoto Protocol obligations by establishing the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units and the Australian National Authority for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI). Australian individuals and organisations may now apply for registry accounts to hold and trade Kyoto units, as well as for approval to undertake CDM and JI projects. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Amy Ward report

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  • Focus: Expanded renewable energy target scheme legislation passed

    21 August 2009

    The Senate has passed legislation to implement Australia's new expanded national renewable energy target scheme. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Ben Strate report

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  • Client Update: Draft South East Queensland Climate Change Plan

    6 August 2009

    The Draft South East Queensland Climate Change Management Plan, which proposes actions to implement the climate change policies in the new South East Queensland Regional Plan, was recently released for public comment. Partner Bill McCredie, and Senior Associates Suzanne Westgate and Simon Batten report

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  • Focus: Senate standing committees report on CPRS legislation and US greenhouse legislation passes House

    7 July 2009

    The Senate Standing Committee on Economics and the Senate Select Committee on Climate Policy have handed down their reports on the Federal Government's legislation to implement its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. These reports reflect the seemingly entrenched views of political players who will determine the fate of the legislation when it is voted on in August, and underscore the likelihood that the Senate will not pass the legislation in its current form - at least this time around. We also look at the greenhouse gas legislation that has recently been passed by the US House of Representatives

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  • Focus: Regulations released on emissions-intensive trade-exposed industry assistance program

    3 July 2009

    The Department of Climate Change has released draft regulations for public comment that set out the details of the emissions-intensive trade-exposed assistance program that is to form part of the Federal Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer John Henderson report

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  • Focus: Carbon capture and storage - environmental considerations

    9 June 2009

    Last month, the Environment Protection and Heritage Council released the Environmental Guidelines for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geological Storage - 2009. This followed the Federal Government's release of acreage and guidance notes for carbon capture and storage assessment under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth) in March 2009. Partner Chris Schulz, Senior Associate Emily Gerrard and Lawyer Sarah Dynon explore the environmental and planning issues relevant to applications for assessment permits under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act

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  • Focus: CPRS legislation introduced into Parliament

    19 May 2009

    The Federal Government has introduced into Parliament legislation to implement its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. The legislation as introduced has been modified in a number of respects from the exposure draft legislation that was released in March. Partner Grant Anderson reports.

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  • Client Update: COAG agrees changes to Renewable Energy Target scheme

    12 May 2009

    Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Ben Strate report on changes to the design of the expanded national Renewable Energy Target scheme that were agreed by COAG on 30 April 2009

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  • Focus: Senate committee reports on draft CPRS legislation

    4 May 2009

    Recently, the Senate Standing Committee on Economics handed down its report on the draft legislation to implement the Federal Government's proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. While the Federal Government requires the support of either the Opposition or the Greens and the two independent senators for the legislation to pass, the positions of the non-Government parties (as outlined in the report) make it clear that there is some way to go before the Government is likely to achieve the necessary support. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer John Henderson report.

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  • Focus: Federal Government releases acreage for carbon capture and storage assessment

    8 April 2009

    The Federal Government has announced the world-first release of offshore areas for assessment as potential carbon injection and storage sites under the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 (Cth). Partner Anna Collyer reports on this significant development on one of the foundation elements of the Government's emissions reduction strategy

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  • Focus: National greenhouse and energy reporting amendments

    1 April 2009

    Recently, amendment regulations have come into force that streamline the registration process for companies that are required to register and report under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and that support the operation of amendments that have been made to the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer Nick Buttner report

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  • Focus: NSW Government releases policy statement on rising sea levels

    17 March 2009

    The New South Wales Government has released its Draft Sea Level Rise Policy Statement for public comment. The policy outlines the government's response to rising sea levels and the associated effects of climate change. Partner Jim Parker and Lawyer Fleur Ramsay report on the policy and consider potential implications for coastal planning, development and land ownership in NSW

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  • Client Update: Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme exposure draft legislation

    11 March 2009

    Yesterday afternoon the Federal Government released exposure draft legislation for its proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS). While the draft legislation is extensive and submissions on it are due by 14 April, it closely mirrors the proposals put forward by the Government in its White Paper, Australia's Low Pollution Future, released on 15 December last year. These proposals are summarised in the nine-article series on the White Paper that is available in the Climate Change publications area of our website. Partner Grant Anderson reports

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  • Focus: Queensland greenhouse gas storage legislation

    2 March 2009

    Stand-alone carbon storage legislation commenced in Queensland last week. This follows the earlier leads of Victorian and federal (offshore) legislation and, at some 450 pages, provides a detailed regime for storage of greenhouse gases within Queensland territorial borders. Partner Ben Zillmann and Senior Associate Rochelle Carey report on some of the key features of the legislation

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper - forestry, agriculture, offsets and energy efficiency

    26 February 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Jim Parker and Senior Associate Robyn Glindemann discuss in greater detail the White Paper's proposals on the treatment of forestry, agriculture, offsets and energy efficiency initiatives under the Scheme. This is the ninth and final in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Tax consequences of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

    20 February 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Grant Cathro and Lawyer Penny Alexander discuss in detail the tax consequences of the proposed Scheme. This is the eighth in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper - carbon pass through

    12 February 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Grant Anderson discusses in greater detail the implications of the White Paper proposals for the contractual provisions that should be included in supply contracts, outsourcing contracts and joint venture agreements. This is the seventh in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Federal Government releases draft National Carbon Offset Standard

    9 February 2009

    Late last year, the Federal Government released a National Carbon Offset Standard Discussion Paper, together with a draft National Carbon Offset Standard. Partner Grant Anderson and Senior Associate Sarah Birrell describe the principal elements of the proposed standard, which has significant implications for the voluntary carbon market in Australia.

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: carbon capture and storage

    6 February 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Anna Collyer and Lawyer Damien Hughes discuss in greater detail the treatment of carbon capture and storage under the Scheme. This is the sixth in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: emissions reduction targets and the use of international units

    30 January 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer John Henderson discuss in greater detail the emissions reduction targets and the use of international units proposed for the Scheme, and give some international context to these proposals. This is the fifth in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: carbon trading

    23 January 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner John Greig and Lawyers Emma Leske and Tim Dalton discuss in greater detail the White Paper proposals that are designed to facilitate the development of an efficient carbon market. This is the fourth in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: electricity industry

    15 January 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer John Henderson discuss in greater detail the assistance that is to be provided to coal-fired electricity generators and the impact of the Scheme on the electricity industry. This is the third in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: liability under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

    9 January 2009

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, Australia's Low Pollution Future, Partner Grant Anderson discusses in greater detail the activities that will attract liability and the entities that will be liable under that scheme. This is the second in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Focus: Expanded renewable energy target scheme

    24 December 2008

    The Federal Department of Climate Change recently released an exposure draft of legislation and regulations for the Federal Government's proposed expanded national renewable energy target scheme. Partner Grant Anderson and Lawyer John Henderson look at the draft legislation and some associated proposals

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  • Focus: Detailed analysis of White Paper: emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries

    23 December 2008

    Following on from our summary of the Federal Government's White Paper on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme 'Australia's Low Pollution Future' , Partner Grant Anderson discusses in greater detail the assistance that is to be provided to emissions-intensive trade-exposed industries. This is the first in a series of articles that examines in more depth the principal proposals contained in the White Paper

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  • Client Update: White Paper on Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme released

    15 December 2008

    At midday, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, released the much-anticipated White Paper that outlines the Federal Government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and the medium-term target for reducing national emissions

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  • Focus: Federal Parliament passes greenhouse gas storage legislation

    20 November 2008

    The long-awaited enabling legislation for carbon capture and storage in Commonwealth offshore waters has been passed by the Federal Parliament. Partner Anna Collyer and Lawyer Damien Hughes look at the important last-minute Senate amendments to the legislation

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  • Focus: Victorian Government legislates greenhouse gas storage

    7 November 2008

    The Victorian Parliament has passed legislation to facilitate and regulate carbon capture and storage activities in onshore Victoria. The passage of the legislation is in advance of the Federal Government's 'offshore' carbon capture and storage Bill, which is currently before the Senate. Partner Anna Collyer, Senior Associate Peter O'Sullivan and Lawyer Damien Hughes report

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  • Client Update: China's White Paper on climate change

    5 November 2008

    China's State Council Information Office recently released its White Paper on climate change. Partner Campbell Davidson and Lawyer Mark Harding report on this major policy statement from the Chinese Government

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  • Focus: Commonwealth Treasury climate change modelling

    3 November 2008

    Late last week the Treasurer and the Minister for Climate Change and Water released the long-awaited Commonwealth Treasury modelling on the economic impact on Australia of reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the medium and long term. Partner Grant Anderson discusses the outcomes of that modelling

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  • Focus: Information Technology & Climate Change - Legal issues for IT managers and directors under new emissions reporting requirements

    24 October 2008

    The need to meet new emissions reporting requirements in 2009 will require many organisations to procure new information technology systems or modify existing systems to provide enhanced reporting systems capability. Partner Niranjan Arasaratnam and Senior Associate Ken Shiu report on what needs to be done to comply with the reporting requirements

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  • Focus: Progress of the Commonwealth Greenhouse Gas Storage Bill

    23 October 2008

    Partner Anna Collyer and Senior Associate Cate Barlow look at the progress of an important piece of Commonwealth carbon capture legislation

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