On 14 May 2013, the Australian Government announced details of a program to provide additional incentives for the destruction of waste synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs) and ozone depleting substances (ODS).
The Destruction Incentives Program is one of a suite of measures under the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Plan, as part of a long-term approach to reshape the Australian economy, cut carbon pollution, drive innovation and help avoid the increased costs of delaying action on climate change.
Destruction Incentives Program
The Destruction Incentives Program will provide financial incentives for the destruction of waste SGGs, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and ODS. From 1 July 2013, the government will provide an incentive payment of $1.50 per kilogram of waste SGG and ODS destroyed to refrigerant contractors. This is a 50 per cent increase on the $3.00 per kilogram payment by Refrigerant Reclaim Australia for waste gas recovered and provided to Refrigerant Reclaim Australia for destruction.
Then from 1 July 2015, the Government will introduce a further destruction incentive which will increase the total amount paid for the destruction of SGGs to 70 per cent of the equivalent carbon price where the gas species and quantity can be verified.
The Government recognises the important role that the existing industry scheme operated by Refrigerant Reclaim Australia has played in the destruction of SGGs and ODS since its introduction in 1993. In providing additional incentives the Government builds on the continued operation and success of the existing industry scheme.
The Destruction Incentives Program supports the need for the ongoing destruction of environmentally harmful SGGs and ODS recovered at end of life in Australia. Destruction of these gases is an important element of achieving better environmental outcomes and meeting Australia's commitment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Destruction Incentives Program has been designed in consultation with industry to support and encourage industry users to maintain the destruction of these environmentally harmful gases.
Destruction provider accreditation
The Government's Destruction Incentives Program is intended to operate in addition to existing and future industry operated destruction programs. Currently Refrigerant Reclaim Australia is the only industry operated program. The Government Program does not affect the ability of Refrigerant Reclaim Australia to continue to fund and operate the existing refrigerant recovery program.
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (the department) is open to partnering with Refrigerant Reclaim Australia and other destruction providers to deliver the program on the basis that they meet the program's requirements. These include but are not limited to: capacity to work with the identified industry sector; capacity to meet the requirements of the ozone protection and synthetic greenhouse gas legislation; financial viability; and appropriate governance structure.
Product stewardship for small domestic refrigeration and air conditioning equipment
As a further step in reducing emissions of SGGs and ODS, the Government will examine the potential for the introduction of a complementary product stewardship scheme for domestic refrigeration and air conditioning equipment with small gas charges Eusually less than two kilograms, to recover waste gas, metals, plastics and hazardous materials for reuse or appropriate disposal.
Increased compliance and enforcement
Funding has also been provided to the department to increase the compliance and enforcement of the legal requirements for those handling SGGs and ODS to not intentionally release these gases to the atmosphere.
Exemption for intentional destruction of SGGs through manufacturing
The Destruction Incentive Program allows for an exemption from the equivalent carbon price when SGGs can be, and are, destroyed when utilised in specific manufacturing processes. These processes will be subject to evidence demonstrating the manufacturing process and the method of destruction that provides emission abatement consistent with the Kyoto Protocol. Applications for exemptions will be subject to the Regulation amendments being approved.