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Draft report: Emissions Reduction Fund options canvassed

The first draft emissions reduction methods for projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund have been released for public consultation.

Emissions reduction methods set out the rules for estimating emissions reductions from proposed activities. The three draft methods cover projects for landfill gas recovery, alternative waste treatment and cleaning up emissions from coal mining. These areas were identified as key priorities for method development in consultation with industry.

The landfill gas method builds on Carbon Farming Initiative methods to reduce emissions by destroying methane from landfill gas using a combustion device such as a flare. Combusting the landfill gas significantly reduces the global warming effect of methane that would otherwise escape from landfills as the waste decomposes.

The alternative waste treatment method will support projects that treat eligible mixed solid waste at an alternative waste treatment (AWT) facility — which could recycle, resell or treat the waste — rather than disposing of it in landfill. The method will cover construction of new AWT facilities, expansion of existing AWT facilities and provide continued emissions reduction opportunities for AWT facilities that participated in the Carbon Farming Initiative.

The coal mine waste gas method will support projects that destroy methane — a potent greenhouse gas contained in coal mine waste gas — that would have otherwise been emitted to the atmosphere.

The method will cover new projects, as well as existing coal mine waste gas destruction projects which increase their emissions reductions beyond existing capacity.

These draft methods have been developed in collaboration with technical working groups that include key representatives from relevant industry bodies and organisations. The government has started this consultation on a number of priority methods across a range of sectors to ensure methods are ready for use when the Emissions Reduction Fund commences.

Businesses, community organisations and individuals are invited to make a submission on the draft reduction method determinations by October 1. Further details about the draft methods, and how to provide a submission, are available on the Department of Environment website.

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The Mandarin

The Mandarin staff journalists.