Our climate change experience includes:
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS)
Advising a large range of clients on their compliance with the NGERS, including Rio Tinto, Eni Australia, Macquarie Capital Advisers, Newcrest Mining, IPR-GDF Suez, Woodside Energy, Xstrata, LinkWater, SunWater, QWI, Phillip Morris, Port of Brisbane and CB Richard Ellis.
Carbon pass-through clauses
Drafting and negotiating contractual carbon pass-through clauses for clients, including Woodside Energy, IPR-GDF Suez, Eni Australia, Esso Australia, GVK, Shell, INPEX, Arrium, Tomago, Norsk Skog, NSW Department of Main Roads, AMCOR, Kraft and the Victorian Department of Transport.
Emissions Reduction Fund and Carbon Farming Initiative
Advising clients on the opportunities and risks associated with the Emissions Reduction Fund which expanded the pre-existing land-sector based Carbon Farming Initiative and the proposed Safeguard Mechanism, which will require certain large facilities to keep their emissions below their applicable historic baselines. Our experience includes assisting the Wiliggin Aboriginal community in the North Kimberly region of Western Australia with their participation in the North Kimberly Fire Abatement Project. The project has generated over 92,000 carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative which have been sold to various Australian and multinational companies.
Wind farm projects
Advising on wind farm projects in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. Acting for sponsors and financiers, our roles have involved advising on planning and development approvals, the environmental assessment process, land tenure issues, construction issues, joint venture arrangements, investment structuring and taxation issues. Specific examples of projects we have advised on include the Macarthur, Bald Hills, Mt Mercer and Gunning wind farms.
Advised on the acquisition of forestry rights to offset carbon dioxide emissions in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia and on the procurement of greenhouse abatement certificates under the previous NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme.
Emissions abatement projects under the Clean Development Mechanism
Advised Macquarie Global Investment on the establishment of an incorporated joint venture (BioCarbon Group Pte Ltd) with the International Finance Corporation and others, to deliver avoided deforestation projects, initially in Indonesia. We subsequently advised on the establishment of a joint venture between BioCarbon and C-Quest Capital for the generation of CDM carbon credits from the sale of cook stoves in Nigeria and Malawi.
We have also advised clients on CDM projects (principally landfill gas destruction and electricity generation) in the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Thailand.
Carbon capture and storage
Advised the Victorian Government on the Commonwealth carbon capture and storage legislation and in relation to proposed Victorian carbon capture and storage legistlation. We have also advised on carbon capture and storage projects such as:
- the Victorian Department of Primary Industries on its CarbonNet project, which was aimed at establishing a large-scale multi-user carbon capture and storage network in Victoria and was funded under the Commonwealth's CCS Flagship Program;
- the Monash Energy Project, which entailed the proposed commercialisation of coal-to-gas-to-liquid technology to produce low-emission diesel fuel and electricity from brown coal. Our role included advising on legal issues and proposed regulatory arrangements relating to carbon capture and storage (geosequestration) in offshore geological structures;
- the ZeroGen Project, which entailed the construction in central Queensland of a demonstration plant to develop clean coal technology involving carbon capture and storage; and
- the Gorgon Project, which entailed the development of the Greater Gorgon gas fields, gas processing and shipping facilities and included greenhouse gas management via carbon capture and storage into deep formations beneath Barrow Island.
Advised on litigation relating to the development of coal mines, including:
- representing Xstrata in litigation before the Queensland Land and Resources Tribunal in which greenhouse gas emissions from the Newlands mine and climate change were the central issues;
- representing Xstrata on various litigation concerning the development of the proposed Wandoan coal mine in Queensland – this included the landmark litigation where environmental groups challenged the development of the coal mine based on its climate change impacts; and
- successfully resisting an objection by a conservation group to the Isaacs Plain coal mine on the basis of greenhouse gas emissions in a groundbreaking case that considered the scope of the Federal Environment Minister's decision-making authority.
Carbon pricing disputes
Advised both suppliers and purchasers of electricity on disputes regarding the pass through of carbon costs under their electricity supply contracts.
Victorian Renewable Energy Target Scheme (VRETS)
Advised the Victorian Essential Services Commission on the initial rules and guidelines for the implementation of the VRETS, a market-based scheme to maintain demand for investment in renewable energy in Victoria.
Carbon Pricing Scheme
Advised clients, including Rio Tinto, Woodside Energy, Newcrest Mining and Xstrata, as well as numerous electricity generators, gas transporters, LNG/gas producers and electricity/gas retailers, on their compliance with the previous federal carbon pricing scheme, and on the implications for them of the retrospective repeal of that scheme.