“The Morrison government has quietly appointed fossil fuel industry leaders and a controversial economist to a committee responsible for ensuring the integrity of projects that get climate funding.
Critics have raised concerns about whether some appointees to the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee may have a potential conflict of interest that could leave its decisions open to legal challenge.
The overhaul of the committee follows the government indicating it plans to expand the industries that can access its $2.5bn emissions reduction fund, including opening it to carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects by oil and gas companies.”
“Bill Hare, the chief executive and senior scientist with Climate Analytics, said it appeared the government had appointed “mostly people concerned with the status quo” rather than aiming for a rapid shift towards zero emissions.
He said he was concerned the government planned to allow fossil fuel companies to receive climate funding for merely reducing emissions below inflated estimates of what their CO2 output otherwise might be.”
“The emissions reduction fund has so far operated with limited success in reducing national emissions. The government has paid $740m for emissions cuts and signed contracts for another $1.66bn. Despite this, national emissions had dipped only slightly since the Coalition was elected in 2013 prior to the Covid-19 shutdown.
Government data shows the small reduction was overwhelmingly due to the rise of solar and wind energy, which are not supported through the fund.”