On 5 March 2008, the Standing Committee on Natural Resource Management resolved to conduct an inquiry into the impacts of emissions trading schemes on natural resource management in New South Wales. The Committee called for submissions from interested individuals and organisations. Submissions were closed on 9 May 2008.
“Emissions trading” refers to a market-based scheme for environmental improvement that allows parties to buy and sell permits for emissions or credits for reductions in emissions of certain pollutants. Emissions trading allows established emission goals to be met in the most cost-effective way by letting the market determine the lowest-cost pollution abatement opportunities.
Emissions trading schemes are important emerging policy instruments for managing greenhouse gas reduction. Since 2005, the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme has been a key component of meeting the Union’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol. A local scheme has been used in New South Wales since 2003 and a national scheme is currently being developed.
That the Committee inquire into and report on the implications for natural resource management in New South Wales of national and international emissions trading schemes with a particular emphasis on:
a) Costs and benefits for natural resource managers of national and international greenhouse gas emission trading schemes
b) Transitional arrangements for participants in the New South Wales emission scheme to a national scheme; and
c) Economic and environmental implications for the State of offset activities.