Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) was Australia’s proposed cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme. It was to have been the main element in Australia’s efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Policy Development

The CPRS went through an extensive policy development process:

Legislative action

The CPRS went through a number of changes as the related legislation was considered by Parliament.

  • The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 was introduced to Parliament on 14 May 2009. It passed through the House of Representatives on 4 June and was introduced into the Senate on 15 June 2009. It failed to pass through that chamber on 13 august 2009.
  • The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 (No. 2) was introduced to Parliament on 22 October and passed through the House of Representatives on 16 November 2009. Introduced into the Senate on 17 November, it failed to pass through that chamber on 2 December 2009.
  • The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2010 (the 2010 Bill) was introduced into Parliament on 2 February 2010 and passed through that chamber on 11 February. It was introduced into the Senate on 22 February, but lapsed on 28 September 2010 due to the calling of the 2010 Australian general election.

To date a similar Bill has not been introduced to Parliament.

Government policy

The former Rudd Government deferred the CPRS to at least 2013 due to the slow progress of global emissions control efforts and the political difficulty of gaining Senate approval for this scheme. The Gillard Government has, to date, promised no more than to work towards the introduction of a carbon price over an undefined time frame. Effectively the CPRS, in its last legislated form, is now off Parliament’s legislative agenda. That said, emissions trading remains one option open to the government to control Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and/or introduce a carbon price

Further reading:

Department of Climate Change, Carbon pollution reduction scheme green paper, Australian Government, 16 July 2008.

Department of Climate Change, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme—Australia’s Low Pollution Future, Australian Government, 15 December 2008.

L. Nielson, J Styles, A. Talberg and J. Tomaras, Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme 2009 (No. 2), Bills Digest, No. 59, 2009–2010, 29 October 2009, Parliamentary Library, Canberra.


22 October 2010
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