Australia on track to beat emissions reduction target

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The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) has purchased 192 million tonnes of abatement through 429 contracts, the Clean Energy Regulator has revealed.

The seventh Emissions Reduction Fund auction was held on June 6-7, with 6.67 million tonnes of carbon abatement purchased through 32 carbon abatement contracts.

Clean Energy Regulator chair David Parker said volume purchased and prices at the latest auction was similar to the previous auction.

“We notified the market in March we expected to purchase in the range of $50–$100 million, and we have done just that – committing $90 million at this auction,” Mr Parker said.

Almost $250 million in funding remains for future purchasing events, which the Clean Energy Regulator intends to announce in the second half of this year.

“After three years of operation, it is pleasing to see new participants coming forward, demonstrating that the industry is continuing to develop,” Mr Parker said.

“As we have moved into a more business as usual phase of the scheme, we have seen the volume of abatement purchased auctions stabilise.

“We are pleased contracted abatement at this auction has broadly maintained the current portfolio.”

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the results would ensure Australia meets its 2020 emissions reduction target, which is set to be beaten by 294 million tonnes.

“The ERF offers a broad range of opportunities for business, farmers and others to reduce emissions right across the economy,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“Projects also generate income and employment, including for rural and Indigenous communities, and improve biodiversity.

“The ERF is reducing emissions by storing carbon in forests and soils, improving energy efficiency, fuel switching and capturing methane from landfills.”