November 10, 2011

Australia Announces First Carbon Legislation

Filed under: Australasia, climate — inece @ 1:50 am

On November 8, 2011, Australia’s parliament passed the country’s first carbon legislation, known as Clean Energy Bill 2011.  The new law establishes a tax on carbon emissions at a fixed level for a three-year period beginning in July, 2012, after which the carbon tax will be transformed into an emissions trading scheme.  Initially, only about 500 of the country’s largest emitters will be covered by the new regulation, but this will gradually expand to cover broader segments of the economy.

Under the new legislation, covered entities will be issued a limited number of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) and must surrender a certain number of units for each tonne of emissions for which they are liable or make payment to cover the shortage.  Covered entities may purchase additional units from the government, but may only satisfy up to 5% of their total emissions obligations by surrendering ACCUs.

Transition to an emissions trading system

Following the initial three-year period, the carbon regime will transition into an emissions trading system.  During the first three years of the trading scheme, there will be a transitional price ceiling and price floor. The intent is that these be set at a level significantly higher than the expected price for the price ceiling and lower than the expected price for the price floor.

Linkage to international trading markets

The new regulation anticipates that liable entities will eventually be able to use both eligible ACCUs and eligible international units to meet their liabilities to provide emitter with additional flexibility under the mechanism. Covered entities may exceed the emission cap if they offset the excess emissions with eligible ACCUs or eligible international units. The use of international units will be subject to qualitative and quantitative restrictions in order to ensure the environmental integrity and ongoing credibility of the emission trading system.

Official Australian carbon legislation site

link to: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/government/submissions/clean-energy-legislative-package.aspx

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May 3, 2011

Border controls used to address illegal fishing in Australia

Filed under: Australasia, marine, Uncategorized — inece @ 5:07 pm

Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs attributes tough border control measures to dramatic reduction in illegal foreign fishing. According to a story in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Minister told reporters that, “In 2006 there were 367 vessels, almost 3000 foreign fishers, apprehended in our waters.” However, the article notes that only eleven vessels have been intercepted so far this financial year and only 69 foreign fishers have been apprehended.

Click here for the whole story: http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/border-control-reduces-illegal-fishing-20110429-1dzv8.html

November 8, 2010

Australasian Enforcement and Compliance Network 2010 Conference a Success

Filed under: Australasia — inece @ 8:02 pm

During the 7th Annual Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators neTwork (AELERT) conference, held in Canberra, Australia, 3-5 November 2010, over 280 participants from across Australia and New Zealand expanded their networks and discussed a wide range of regulatory issues impacting on contemporary environmental regulatory regimes.

David Suzuki presented the keynote address, urging conference participants to consider the current economic influences over all issues, including the environment. He discussed his legacy, a rambling of ideas and thoughts that he has developed over time and felt the need to share.

Other plenary speakers presented on the need to better plan our future, to learn the lessons from less than optimal delivery of programs, and opportunities to work together across global regions. In following the conference theme, the diverse range of plenary speakers also showcased gene technology and waste industry futures, along with bringing conference participants back to consider the concept of ‘place’.

Regulatory practitioners showcased the diverse range of environmental regulatory responses during the numerous conference breakout sessions. From audits to investigations, and procedures to practices, a wide diversity of recent experiences were presented on.

Conference presentations will soon be available for participants through the conference website, to allow for the continued exchange of ideas and prompt for ongoing liaison between attendees.

Arrangements are already underway for the conference in Darwin, Australia, from 26-28 October 2011.

November 4, 2010

INTERPOL Operation Targets Illegal Trade in Endangered Reptiles

Sea Turtle, Photo credit Yannick Beadoin

INTERPOL reports that

A worldwide operation co-ordinated by INTERPOL and involving 51 countries across all five continents against the illegal trade in reptiles and amphibians has resulted in arrests worldwide and the seizure of thousands of animals as well as of products worth more than 25 million Euros.

Including national wildlife enforcement authorities, police, customs and specialized units from participating countries, Operation RAMP (September – October) focused particularly on illegal activities relating to the trade and possession of endangered reptiles such as turtles and snakes which included Boa constrictors. The operation resulted in thousands of searches and inspections being conducted, and saw hundreds of suspects being investigated or charged as part of an on-going series of investigations. The goods seized included leather products, and illicit firearms and drugs were also uncovered.

During the two month-long operation, which led to investigations into individuals and companies as well as inspections of premises such as seaports and wholesalers, INTERPOL’s Environmental Crime Programme unit acted as a key operational communications and intelligence centre, facilitating the exchange of information between the world police body’s member countries participating in the operation.

For the full report, see http://www.interpol.int/Public/ICPO/PressReleases/PR2010/PR089.asp

June 29, 2010

AELERT Newsletter Profiles Environmental Compliance and Enforcement in Australiasia

Filed under: Australasia — inece @ 9:33 am

The Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators Network

The Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulators neTwork (AELERT) is a network of environmental regulatory agencies working to  build relationships between jurisdictions to facilitate the sharing of information and improve the regulatory compliance capacity of member agencies.

AELERT’s Winter 2010 Newsletter [pdf] provides an overview of a range of activities and events being undertaken across AELERT at the moment, along with a Member Profile and 2010 AELERT Conference update.

The 2010 AELERT Conference will focus on the theme “Diversity in Environmental Regulatory Responses” and will be held on 3-5 November in Canberra, Australia. The AELERT Conference provides an opportunity for practitioners within environmental regulatory agencies to discuss and highlight their experiences in regulatory practice, licensing, policy, compliance monitoring, audit and the investigation and enforcement of environmental offenses. The Conference will feature keynote speaker David Suzuki, as well as high-level keynote speakers from the region.

Find more information about the Conference, including the draft Program and Registration process, on the Conference website www.conlog.com.au/aelert2010. The  2010 AELERT Conference information sheet [pdf] also is available.

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