New initiative reuses old waste

THE national body for local government has welcomed the Federal Government's introduction of new carbon farming initiative (CFI) methodology, describing it as an opportunity for councils to reduce pollution and make productive use of methane emissions from old landfill waste.

Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) president Genia McCaffery said the association agreed the government's methodology for the capture and combustion of methane in landfill gas from legacy waste under the CFI would provide direct incentives for landfill operators to reduce emissions.

"I would urge all councils that are managing landfills around the country to take advantage of opportunities through this program to create carbon credits by capturing and destroying methane emissions from old landfills through flaring and where possible for the production of electricity for sale through the grid," Ms McCaffery said.

"Converting methane to carbon dioxide under the CFI offers councils a real chance to strengthen their business case for abatement of carbon emissions from legacy waste.

"In some cases councils will be able to use this process for power generation, which may also earn revenue from the sale of renewable energy certificates under the renewable energy target.

"A significant benefit to councils as landfill operators will also be the ability to discharge up to 100% of their emissions liability using credits issued under the CFI during the fixed price years of the carbon pricing mechanism.

"ALGA was involved in numerous consultations with the government in the development of the clean energy package of legislation and was pleased the government was prepared to listen and respond positively to local government's issues.

"The CFI is just one tangible way the government is helping councils reduce their emissions and address climate change."

The low-carbon communities program will also deliver $250 million over four years to provide additional support for local government and community organisations to undertake energy efficiency upgrades to community-use buildings and facilities.

Ms McCaffery said the ALGA would continue to work with the government on strategies to address climate change through reducing carbon emissions as well as adapting to the impacts of climate change that are already built into the global climate system.

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