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Looking forward

 

The agency has proved itself to be agile and responsive while maintaining high standards of compliance with the legislation for which we are responsible.

We face another year of considerable change, with the repeal of the carbon tax, the introduction of the Emissions Reduction Fund and a fundamental review of the Renewable Energy Target underway. Our responsibilities to administer the final acquittal of carbon tax obligations will continue throughout most of 2014–15; at the same time we will be investing in new capabilities in anticipation of passage of the enabling legislation for the Emissions Reduction Fund.

Fortunately, the Government has recognised the value of retaining existing capabilities in this agency so that we can build on our strong foundations rather than start entirely anew. The Emissions Reduction Fund takes advantage of the existing infrastructure of the Carbon Farming Initiative, Australian National Registry of Emissions Units and NGER. We are also building on our successful approach to client engagement in our consultative approach to developing Emissions Reduction Fund processes.

Taking into account the Government’s policy intent (articulated in both the Emissions Reduction Fund white paper and the red tape reduction agenda), and budgetary constraints, we will have to adjust our risk tolerances and find new operating efficiencies. We will need to build capacity to service an expanding client base. We will need to be informative and objective in our dealings with clients who are uncertain about policy outcomes through this transitional period. As always, we can do no other than administer the law as it stands.

We will continue to assist the Department of the Environment in providing practical advice and factual information to the Government on its climate change policies. The effectiveness of the proposed safeguard mechanism in the Emissions Reduction Fund and of any potential changes to the Renewable Energy Target will depend on how they can be administered. We offer dispassionate observations on the operation of these instruments based on an extensive body of experience.

I am confident that we are well equipped to respond to government and client expectations as we look forward to another busy year. We have built invaluable knowledge and infrastructure that will continue to play an important role in carrying out Australia’s climate change policies.

Our agency has achieved a great deal in the past 12 months. I thank everyone in the agency for their service and commitment.

Chloe Munro
Chair, Clean Energy Regulator

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