Australia’s $4.5bn emissions discount fund has failed to chop emissions and requires pressing overview to keep away from losing billions extra of public cash, a brand new report says.
The Australia Institute report mentioned proof confirmed the scheme – the nation’s solely local weather coverage in power – was sustaining and even really facilitating elevated emissions.
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) offers companies incentives to chop the greenhouse gases they produce. Those collaborating within the voluntary scheme earn carbon credit for each tonne of emissions lower or saved. The credit can then be offered to the federal government or non-public sector.
But the Australia Institute mentioned the scheme was by no means designed to hold the total weight of Australia’s local weather coverage and its foundations have begun to crumble.
Since the scheme started in 2015, greater than half the $4.5bn fund has already been dedicated to purchase simply 217 million tonnes of emission discount.
That was equal to lower than half of Australia’s annual emissions, exhibiting it was “clearly insufficient”.
Up to 80 per cent of current Australian carbon credit (ACCUs) had been additionally discovered to be low integrity, latest analysis had proven.
“The most obvious impact of the current regulatory regime is that billions of dollars of taxpayer money are being wasted on ACCUs from projects that deliver no actual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” the report, launched on Thursday, mentioned.
The authors instructed efforts to quickly increase the ERF over the past two years additionally led to disproportionate trade affect.
They referred to as for a full unbiased overview of the ERF to revive confidence in Australia’s carbon credit scheme.
“Australia’s only legislated climate policy, the controversial $4.5bn Emissions Reduction Fund, is being undermined by poor regulation and the influence of industry,” Australia Institute govt director Ben Oquist mentioned.
“Carbon credits with integrity have a role to play in reducing our emissions in genuinely hard-to-abate areas of the economy like agriculture. But dodgy credits used as offsets are effectively a licence to pollute, fuelling climate change.
“Instead of using public money to cut pollution, the emissions reduction fund has become a ready source of affordable, low-quality offsets for high-polluting industries.”
Mr Oquist mentioned now was the time to right the decline and guarantee integrity underpinned local weather insurance policies.
“We need an urgent review of climate policy in Australia to restore integrity to the Emissions Reduction Fund, otherwise we risk wasting billions more of taxpayer dollars on hot air – that is, useless credits that don’t lower emissions,” he mentioned.
“We can’t afford to waste the next decade like we have the last one.”
The report, An Environmental Fig Leaf: Restoring Integrity to the Emissions Reduction Fund, will probably be launched on the Smart Energy Conference in Sydney on Thursday morning.