Global Warning, Pollution, Climate Change, Greenhouse effect are the terms familiar to us in relation to our environment and society; however what are the measures taken by our government to protect the environment. Environmental issues increasingly become important and closely tighten within our daily life therefore this paper attempts to look at the way from the Australian government protect the environment by using different method includes legislation; signing international agreement and financial assistance to a wide range of environmental programs.
The Australian Emissions Trading Scheme known as ETS or NETS is initiative legislation by the Federal government to protect our environment.
The Rudd Government implement the ETS aims to adjust for the challenges of global climate change and it involves with a range of effective policy. The policy aims at reduce the country’s carbon consumption level as well as achieve the greenhouse gas abatement. The ETS is made to be effective in 2010; a comprehensive design of the scheme for each state is made to finalize in the beginning of 2009 after the Rudd government release the proposal framework this July 2008.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 2008,2) The concept of Emissions trading is the government selling greenhouse emission permits to companies and the permit is allowed to be sold again for emissions or credits of certain pollutant. It is basically means industries across the nation would have to pay to pollute but organizations could be financially benefited from reducing their emission level below the government legislative standard by auctioning their remaining permit. 2007, Internet) The emissions permits is made to be allocated through a combination of means includes free allocation to electricity generators or free allocation to trade-exposed energy intensive industries to compensate for rising electricity prices and sell the remainder of their permit. As a result, this scheme is made to become a free market trading environment. It is because organizations can minimize their emissions level below the government threshold collect credit and then sell to those organizations that use their emissions level above the legislated emissions level.
In short, the objective of the scheme is made to encourage organizations to minimize their pollution. (2007, Internet) The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is essentially the most important element within the ETS. Basically the scheme is addressing on cap and trade system; the cap on carbon pollution and the ability to trade. The objective is obviously to meet Australia’s emission reduction targets by 60% in 2050 set out by the government and most importantly to be response to the climate change that affect our world. 2007, Internet) The cap means the achievement on environmental outcome of reducing carbon pollution whereas the trade system means the ability to trade their permit in order to be the most effective lowest cost for carbon pollution. There are four main principles for the Carbon Pollution scheme. Firstly; there will be a set of environmental cap by issuing a set number of permits and then allow organizations to trade their remaining permits thereby putting a price on carbon.
In doing so, the right to emit greenhouse gas becomes scarce as a result reducing its emission. The government issues the permits accordingly to the equal number of cap; for instance, the cap is made to limit emission 100 million tones of Co2-e in the year of 2010 then 100 million permits would be issued out. Secondly; a low emissions plan for the caps is set to design for Australia to ensure the least economic impacts impose to the country.
Thirdly; the maximize coverage of greenhouse gases and all entities sectors applicable to the scheme is the most effective and fair policy. Finally; the scheme is made to address on that emission intensive industries in Australia and the impact on the Australian economic conditions. (Samantha& Kristin, 2007,79) Another measure taken by the Australian government to protect the environment is actively involved with international agreement such as the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty signed by 182 counties to protect the environment and mainly address on the climate change. It is a set of rule accordingly with the United Nation on the Framework Convention to Climate Change that is combating climate change to protect the environment. On 11 December 1997 an international conference by the 3rd conference of the Parties held at Kyoto to discuss the global climate change and the conference finished with the well known Kyoto Protocol.
The treaty set mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual nations and it is an international legal binding agreement to combating climate change. Australia ratification the agreement on the 3 December 2007 and is made to be effect on March 2008 with the nation agree on the reduction commitment for 2012 at +8% with 2. 1% for ratification under the Rudd government. The former Australian government declined to ratify the agreement but the new elected government fully supports the protocol under the Rudd leadership. (Heal, 2000)
Australia government is committed to protect the environment and it is indicate by signing the international agreement Kyoto Protocol on 3 December 2007; the protocol have five principal concept includes commitments to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions under the legal binding agreement; implementation a range of policy and measures for greenhouse gas emission; minimizing the impacts on developing countries in terms of finical perspective; accounting, reporting or review to ensure the country’s integrity of the protocol and compliance with the commitments under the protocol.
In addition, the objective to reduce the six greenhouse gases includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons by 2012 within the protocol is also indicate in the Australia Emission Trading Scheme; in fact the NETS facilitate the Kyoto Protocol under the Rudd Government. (Heal, 2000) Financial assistance to environmental program is another means taken by the Australian government to protect the environment.
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is the government department aims at promote and assists on a wide range of environmental programs. The department dealt with different arena of the environmental issues include environment protection and conservation of biodiversity; environmental research; water policy and resources; renewable energy programs; greenhouse gas abatement programs and so on.
For instance Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage Organizations (GVEHO) is one of the programs under this department and its objective to assist community to protect Australia’s natural environment and historic heritage by financial assistance. The Education for Sustainability Grants Program is aims to support community projects that encourage sustainable development in Australian. Projects were funded to promote sustainable development to minimize environmental pollution such as Green Business Advice – focus on small to medium enterprises was granted AU$45000. 2007, Internet) To a large extend; the government plays an important role in the environment protection and it is obvious that the Australian government has taken measures to protect the environment by legislation; signing international treaty and financial assistance to environmental programs. The ETS is a crucial legislation on reduce the greenhouse emission and also to facilitate the Kyoto Protocol in order to create a better, cleaner environment. The ratification on the Kyoto Protocol is symbolically representing Australia urging the urgency to protect the environment.
Furthermore, the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts assist the community to protect the environment in different ways include education, promotion and funding. BIBLIOGRAPHY Department of Climate Change (2008) ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Schem’ http://www. climatechange. gov. au/emissionstrading/index. html (Accessed: 18. 10. 2008) Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2007) ‘Grants to Voluntary Environment and Heritage organisations (GVEHO)’. http://www. environment. gov. au/education/programs/index. tml (Accessed: 19. 10. 2008) Evens & Peck (2007) ‘Possible Design for a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System’. http://www. emissionstrading. net. au/key_documents (Accessed: 18. 10. 2008) The Sydney Morning Herald (2008) ‘Climate Compo to Cushion Blow’ 5 July, 2 Samantha S. & Kristin M. (2007) ‘Current Snapshot of Australian Emissions Trading Proposals’ International Energy Law and Taxation Review: London May 2007, 79 Chichilnisky, G. & Heal, G. (2000) ‘Environmental Markets: Equity and Efficiency’. Columbia University Press, New York.
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