A number of stakeholders to the Review suggested that the private sector or other non-government bodies should be able to development methods for the ERF. The review found that when the original CFI was operating, this approach ‘created a significant resourcing burden for the Government’. However, the CCA writes that ‘allowing stakeholders to propose new methods or variations could alert the Department to possible new abatement opportunities.’ It recommends that:
R. 1: The Department of Environment and Energy (the Department) establish a formal submission process so stakeholders can propose new Emissions Reduction Fund methods. Following assessment of stakeholder proposals by the Department, the Minister would publish priorities for method development every two years.
The ERF can provide benefits to indigenous communities as project proponents or as eligible interest holders. The requirements to demonstrate legal right and to obtain eligible interest holder right set out in the CFI Act serve to protect the interests of project stakeholders. The scope of the legal right and the eligible interest holder consent obligations remain contested and unclear in some instances.
As a result of this, the CER has released draft guidance on legal right and eligible interest holder consent requirements. Feedback can be provided to the CER by email before 9 February 2018. The CCA recommends as follows:
R. 17: The Clean Energy Regulator finalise its guidance to clarify expectations on consultation with Indigenous communities; scheme participants to notify and engage with Registered Native Title Body Corporates on project applications on determined Native Title land and other eligible interest holders before projects are registered and provide the Clean Energy Regulator with evidence this consultation occurred; and the Clean Energy Regulator not allow scheme participants to bid at auction until all known eligible interest holder consents have been obtained.