- Top billing. Parliaments in four states are processing major bills.
- World leaders. Queensland can lead the world in carbon- and biodiversity-friendly farming, says a panel with members including professors Hugh Possingham and Andrew Macintosh.
- Reactivated. Big changes are on the way for the Climate Active certification program.
- Natural high. NSW's Biodiversity Credits Supply Fund is exceeding expectations.
- The pits. Victoria has amended water-taking rules for its three big coal mines, once they close and convert to pit lakes.
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The international Financial Stability Board has delivered its latest progress report on climate-related disclosures to G20 Finance Ministers. The Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures simultaneously released its latest - and final - progress report on TCFD disclosures.
Businesses purchasing credits from voluntary carbon markets are more likely to report lower gross emissions year-on-year, and invest more in emissions reductions, than companies not engaged in carbon markets, according to a new international study by Ecosystem Marketplace, prepared with the support of sponsors including We Mean Business.
Tighter constraints would also apply to the use of international offsets, and certified organisations would have to source at least a certain amount of their electricity from renewables.
Comments are due by 15 December.
The Clean Energy Regulator's latest quarterly carbon market report says the ACCU price trended down over the second quarter of 2023, while only a modest 526MW of new large-scale new renewables generation reached a final investment decision.
The Climate Change Authority has released a CSIRO report on reducing the costs of CO2 sequestration.
Large battery storage projects in Victoria and South Australia, as well as other projects in the two states capable of providing dispatchable energy to the grid, can now take the first step towards applying for support through federally-administered Capacity Investment Scheme (CIS) agreements.
The agreements provide project developers with greater investment certainty, by specifying an agreed revenue floor and ceiling.
The SA-Vic CIS process will target 600 MW of dispatchable renewable capacity with 4-hour-equivalent duration across the two states.
The Clean Energy Regulator has released guidance for facilities covered by the Safeguard Mechanism on applying for an Emissions-Intensity Determination (EID). An EID will be crucial in calculating a facility's Safeguard liability.
Grant opportunity. ARENA has invited expressions of interest from proponents of large-scale renewable hydrogen production projects for funding through the $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart Program. Expressions of interest must be lodged by 10 November.
A joint parliamentary committee on trade and investment has released a report on transitioning Australia to a green energy superpower, which recommends the development of a cross-portfolio national green energy superpower strategy.
"Supporting the net zero transformation" is one of the national priorities listed in the new five-year National Skills Agreement struck between the federal, state and territory governments.
Climateworks has released a report on Delivering Freight Decarbonisation.
There are currently 18 CCS projects at various stages of progress in Australia, aiming to jointly sequester 20 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2035, according to Resources Minister Madeleine King.
Submissions to a Senate inquiry on residential electrification are now available.
The Clean Energy Council has released a package of 45 recommended measures to ensure Australia reaches 82% renewable energy by 2030.
Statutory development. Parliament has passed the Gas Supply and Other Legislation (Hydrogen Industry Development) Amendment Bill, which expands the scope of legislation regulating the transport of petroleum and fossil gas to encompass hydrogen and other renewable gases.
The report of the independent panel, led by Professor Hugh Possingham and with members including Professor Andrew Macintosh, as well as the government's response, are now available.
The panel proposes an 'engage, inform, incentivise and reward' approach. It says changing legislation can cause panic clearing, and there are now greater opportunities for landowners to benefit by protecting biodiversity and storing carbon.
"Queensland has an opportunity to become a world leader in carbon- and biodiversity-friendly farming and to realise a significant market advantage as a result," the panel says.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni have officially opened the 180MW Octopus/RES Dulacca wind farm.
State-owned CleanCo has a power purchase agreement to take 70% of Dulacca's output.
The state government has announced a range of new measures to encourage high quality engagement and local participation in preparations for regional energy projects.
The state government will also examine whether the role of the state's GasFields Commission - which aims to ease tensions between gas projects and farmers - should be expanded to include promoting coexistence among renewable energy developers, mining and resource companies, farmers, and other regional interest groups.
Logan City Council has received a $291,785 ARENA grant to investigate producing biomethane, biochar and fertiliser from kerbside-collected food and garden waste. The waste would be processed at the Loganholme wastewater treatment plant.
The state government is seeking responses by 30 October to a survey on zero-emission vehicles.
Statutory development. The state government has introduced its Climate Change (Net Zero Future) Bill, to enshrine the state's emissions reduction targets in law and establish an independent, advisory Net Zero Commission that will also play a role in promoting climate action in the state.
The Bill will give legislative force to the state's existing targets of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030, and reaching net zero by 2050.
Statutory development. Parliament has passed the the Waste Recycling and Processing Corporation (Authorised Transaction) Amendment Bill, which enables the Waste Assets Management Corporation to accept the transfer of contaminated land, and oversee its management or remediation. The Bill passed within a week of its introduction.
Consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking feedback by 15 November on proposed changes to its Peak Demand Reduction Scheme.
Since the Supply Fund commenced operations, 11% of credit purchases through the biodiversity market have occurred via the Supply Fund, representing 21% of the total market value, the update says.
The amended strategy says potential access to surface water for mine rehabilitation should be restricted to the wettest times of the year, and mine licensees will not be allowed to take more surface water than they have historically used. The amendments leave open the option of using desalinated or recycled water.
Depending on when each mine closes, and if each void needs water, up to 2,800GL could be required, equivalent to six times Melbourne's annual water use.
Statutory development. The state government has introduced the Environment Legislation Amendment (Circular Economy and Other Matters) Bill, which introduces a "periodic fee" for waste-to-energy facilities, to cover administration costs incurred by Recycling Victoria.
The Bill will also allow the EPA to retain an entity's financial assurance while there are still environmental and financial risks associated with a site or activity, even if the entity that provided the assurance becomes insolvent and/or disclaims responsibility. The move aims to ensure taxpayers don't have to fund the clean-up of pollution or contamination.
In addition, the Bill clarifies cost recovery arrangements under the state's imminent Container Deposit Scheme.
A new FY23 progress report on the state's VRET scheme says that renewable energy sources accounted for 37.8% of Victoria’s electricity generation in FY23, up from 34.1% in FY22.
As at 30 June 2023, there were 17 renewable energy generation projects under construction or undergoing commissioning in Victoria, with a combined capacity of 1,734MW. A total of 551MW of rooftop solar was also installed.
The state government has relaxed rules for access to its Solar Homes rebate and interest-free loans, and will now allow homeowners to access the program again if they move to a new property. It will also allow homeowners to access it to replace PV systems that are more than 10 years old.
The state government has released the implementation plan for its Climate Change Action Plan, which describes the lead agency, approach, and timeframe for completing each action.
Consultation opportunity. Comments on the state government's discussion paper on a proposed revamp of its 20-year infrastructure strategy are due by November 13.
Statutory development. The Legislative Assembly has passed the Electricity Industry Amendment (Distributed Energy Resources) Bill, and it is now before the Legislative Council. The Opposition has indicated its support for the government Bill.
The Bill introduces an overarching state electricity objective that includes an environmental consideration, streamlines regulatory arrangements for the state's major grid, and includes measures to support the uptake of distributed energy resources.
South Korean steel company POSCO and French energy company ENGIE will jointly study the feasibility of using renewable hydrogen to power POSCO's proposed Hot Briquetted Iron (HBI) plant in Port Hedland, the state government has announced.
Statutory development and consultation opportunity. The state government is seeking views by 22 November on draft regulations to ban e-waste from landfills.
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