Carbon polluters may not have to pay under new plan

COMPANIES that currently pay Labor's carbon tax may not be punished for exceeding emissions targets under the Coalition's Direct Action Plan.  

Under the recently-released Direct Action Plan green paper, Australia's biggest polluters will be given "flexible compliance arrangements".  

While the details are not yet finalised, the green paper outlines two key options; one is a "transition period" where emissions targets would not apply at all.  

The second option for regulating compliance outlined was to allow a "multi-year compliance period".  

That would see polluters allowed to exceed their emissions targets in one year as long as average emissions over the un-defined "full compliance period" was below the baseline.  

The green paper also cited a proposal from Queensland Gas Company that polluters be given five years of "steady-state operation" to establish a baseline before any penalties were imposed.  

Under the plan, companies would be paid incentives to reduce emissions, but not be penalised for not doing so, with the green paper confirming the government does not plan to raise any revenue from the direct action plan.  


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