NAILSMA Submission on Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) Green Paper 2014
In December 2013, the Minister for the Environment released the Green Paper on implementing the Emissions Reduction Fund. In February 2014, NAILSMA made a submission to the Green Paper focusing on the issues most relevant to north Australia’s Indigenous people.
Indigenous people have the land assets and skills to make a major contribution to better balance national carbon budgets, but the Green Paper raises many matters of concern to Indigenous landholders. Three key issues stand out:
- a one-dimensional focus on lowest-cost abatements, despite the negative implications for supply from the land sector;
- refusal to consider achievement of multiple benefits additional to emissions reductions (co-benefits); and
- absence (withdrawal) of support for capital-poor Indigenous people to close the establishment and pre-income gap inherent in carbon farming projects.
All of these features increase barriers to Indigenous engagement.
NAILSMA’s submission makes a number of recommendations that will reduce these barriers and foster access to low-cost, high-quality Indigenous land sector abatements. The two key design solutions proposed in the submission are:
- Incorporation of a land sector band into the auction mechanism, with a substantial proportion of total funding. This will be an indispensable feature of any scheme capable of attracting viable bids from Indigenous landholders.
- Recognition of co-benefits, either in price of units, or in grants for establishment and pre-income operations of substantial Indigenous projects. Additional support is required to meet the particular needs of remote Indigenous providers, and is justified by the demonstrated benefits of Indigenous land management projects in employment, health, and conservation.
In tandem with other minor changes to the ERF design proposed within the submission, these changes will remove significant barriers to the capacity of Indigenous people to contribute to national emissions reductions targets, enhancing not only the benefits to local communities but also the performance and credibility of the ERF as a whole.
Read the NAILSMA Submission to the ERF Green Paper