This note is not part of the regulations, but is intended to indicate their general effect.
These regulations, which come into force on 1 January 2013, amend the Climate Change (Forestry Sector) Regulations 2008 (the principal regulations). The amendments are consequential to provisions of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2012.
Regulation 4 amends regulation 4 of the principal regulations by defining sub-area in relation to offsetting forest land and pre-1990 offsetting forest land.
Regulation 5 amends regulation 6 of the principal regulations to require that information provided under that regulation include the spatial extent of the area of land determined in accordance with the method and format prescribed by the EPA under regulation 7 (as amended by regulation 6 of these regulations).
Regulation 6 amends regulation 7 of the principal regulations to enable the EPA to determine the method and format to be used to determine the spatial extent of the area of land for the purposes of regulation 6 of the principal regulations.
Regulation 7 amends regulation 10 of the principal regulations to require the EPA to notify the relevant authority of land that has the status of pre-1990 offsetting forest land.
Regulation 8 inserts into the principal regulations new regulations 15A and 15B, which relate to offsetting forest land.
New regulation 15A relates to applications for offsetting and the calculation of carbon equivalence.
The calculation of emissions from the pre-1990 forest land (P90 land) that will be deforested must be done in accordance with regulations 14, 15, and 16 of the principal regulations and the new regulation 15A. Regulations 14, 15, and 16 currently set out the methodology for calculating emissions from P90 land that has been deforested, requiring the use of P90 look-up tables in Schedule 4 of the principal regulations. The emissions for each sub-area of P90 land that is intended to be deforested must be added together to get the total emissions (total carbon stock). The corresponding offsetting land must have an area and total carbon stock greater than or equal to the area and total carbon stock of the P90 land.
New regulation 15B prescribes the usual rotation periods for different forest species.
Regulation 9 amends regulation 16(fa) of the principal regulations, which relates to rules for the application of tables in Schedule 4 of the principal regulations. Regulation 16(fa) requires that, if a hectare of forest land contains regenerating indigenous forest species of mixed ages as the predominant forest species, the age of all of the trees in that hectare is calculated from the time since regeneration of the first of the indigenous forest species in that hectare began. The amendment provides that the relevant commencement time is the time of the change in land management that initiated the conversion of the hectare to forest land from land that was not forest land.
Regulation 10 amends regulation 22(fa) of the principal regulations, which relates to rules for the application of tables in Schedule 6 or participant-specific tables and is to the same effect as regulation 16(fa) of the principal regulations. The amendment is to the same effect as that in regulation 9.
Regulation 11 inserts a new subclause (1A) (a transitional provision) into regulation 22B of the principal regulations, which relates to the field measurement-based assessment process. Under regulation 22B(1)(c), participants must, at least once in each mandatory emissions return period, collect the information specified in regulation 22B(1)(c)(i) and (ii). The first commitment period of the mandatory emissions return period under section 189 of the Climate Change Response Act 2002 is 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012. Without the new subclause (1A), post-1989 forest land participants would be required to collect the information for the first mandatory emissions return up to 31 December 2012. The new subclause (1A) allows the information to be collected up to 31 March 2013 if certain requirements are met.
Regulation 12 amends regulation 22E of the principal regulations, which relates to the use of participant-specific tables, to update cross-references to a time period in section 189(4) of the Climate Change Response Act 2002 that has been changed by the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2012.
Regulation 13 amends tables 3 and 4 in Schedule 6 of the principal regulations to correct those tables. The amendment to table 3 is simply a line showing zero carbon stock at age zero. The amendment to table 4 substitutes new columns relating to Douglas fir and Indigenous forest in the tables of carbon stock per hectare for post-1989 forest land.