CPRS legislation off target

Carbon pollution reduction scheme needs to ensure reduced emissions.
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  • Updated:8 Mar 2009


Does GreenPower reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

Buying GreenPower supports the renewable energy industry, but the NSW Department of Water and Energy, which manages the scheme, recently confirmed GreenPower no longer leads to additional greenhouse gas reductions. If you don’t buy GreenPower, the equivalent emission reductions would have to be paid for by someone else anyway.

If I discontinue my subscription to GreenPower, what are the repercussions?

While some people argue that buying GreenPower reduces the greenhouse pollution you’re individually responsible for, discontinuing your payment results in no net difference to Australia’s – or the world’s – greenhouse gas emissions. However, cancelling support for GreenPower would negatively impact on the Australian renewable energy industry. This is unfortunate, as the industry is trying to create a cleaner environment and GreenPower purchases support the development of new greener technologies. The industry’s efforts are being stifled by the federal government’s policies.

After the CPRS starts, will turning off my air conditioner and plasma TV reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions?

No. But it will save you money.

After CPRS, will blasting my air conditioner all day with the windows open increase Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions?

No, but you’ll have very high electricity bills. And you may find it hard to get rid of these bad habits if and when Australia’s climate change policy changes to require deeper emissions cuts.

What does “additionality” mean?

Additionality is “the demonstrable ability to reduce emissions beyond what would otherwise have occurred”. It is considered by the federal government and just about everyone else to be one of the most important attributes of voluntary actions, such as carbon offsets. “Mandatory” emissions reductions must happen; “voluntary” actions should reduce emissions beyond that mandatory amount.


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