Publications

This is a searchable catalogue of the College's most recent books, book chapters, journal articles and working papers. The ANU College of Law also publishes a Research Paper Series on SSRN.

Trends in forest and sparse woody cover inside ERF HIR project areas relative to those in surrounding areas

Trends in forest and sparse woody cover inside ERF HIR project areas relative to those in surrounding areas

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Pablo R Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka, Megan Evans

The Emissions Reduction Fund’s (ERF) Human-induced Regeneration (HIR) method provides landholders with Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for regenerating native forests by changing land management practices. When it was originally made, the method was intended to incentivise the regeneration of native forests by allowing juvenile trees and shrubs to regrow in areas that were previously cleared. Offset projects involving the regeneration of native forests that would not have regenerated in the absence of the project, such as in previously cleared areas, are both legitimate and desirable. However, the vast majority of HIR projects are not in areas that have previously been cleared. Almost all of the current HIR projects are located in semi-arid and arid areas (less than 350 mm average annual rainfall) that have never been comprehensively cleared (Figure 1), meaning most proponents are trying to regenerate native forests in remnant native vegetation solely by reducing grazing pressure from livestock and feral animals

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

Integrity Problems with the ERF’s 2022 Plantation Forestry Method

Integrity Problems with the ERF’s 2022 Plantation Forestry Method

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Since 2014, the centrepiece of Australia’s climate policy has been the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), a $4.5 billion fund that incentivises emissions reduction activities across the economy and forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs)—a type of financial product—that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required to, or that voluntarily choose to, offset their emissions.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

ERF paper

Integrity and the ERF’s Human-Induced Regeneration Method: The Additionality Problem Explained

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Pablo R. Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Earlier this year, we went public with details of serious integrity issues in Australia’s carbon market, which forms part of the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). One of our main concerns is with a carbon offset method known as Human-Induced Regeneration of a Permanent Even-Aged Native Forest (HIR). Our analysis suggests most of the credits issued under this method are not backed by real and additional carbon storage.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

ERF paper title

Integrity and the ERF’s Human-Induced Regeneration Method: The Measurement Problem Explained

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Pablo R. Larraondo, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a $4.5 billion program that forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive carbon credits that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required or voluntarily choose to offset their emissions.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

Fixing the integrity problems with Australia's carbon market

Fixing the Integrity Problems with Australia’s Carbon Market

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Megan C. Evans, Dean Ansell, Marie Waschka

Since 2014, the centrepiece of Australia’s climate policy has been the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), a $4.5 billion fund that incentivises emissions reduction activities across the economy and forms the basis of Australia’s carbon market. Under the ERF, projects that reduce emissions receive credits that can be sold to the Australian Government and private entities that are required to, or that voluntarily choose to, offset their emissions.

Earlier this year, we went public with details of serious integrity issues with the ERF, labelling it ‘environmental and taxpayer fraud’. While a number of long-held concerns with the scheme exist, we have initially focused on the ERF’s most popular carbon credit methods: human-induced regeneration (HIR); avoided deforestation; and landfill gas. Our analysis suggests up to 80% of the carbon credits issued to projects under these methods lack integrity. That is, they do not represent real (emissions have not been reduced) or additional (the reduction would have happened anyway) abatement.

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Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law

ERF

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF): Problems and Solutions

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Donald Butler, Marie Waschka, Dean Ansell

The ERF’s carbon offset crediting scheme is an indispensable part of the policy framework required to ensure Australia achieves its net zero target in a cost-effective manner. Abandoning carbon offsets would substantially increase the cost of achieving the target and forego the many environmental and social co-benefits that can be generated from a well-functioning offset market. However, significant reform is needed to ensure the ERF generates real and additional abatement and performs its intended functions.

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Research theme: Environmental Law

ERF publication

The ERF’s Human-induced Regeneration (HIR): What the Beare and Chambers Report Really Found and a Critique of its Method

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Don Butler, Megan C Evans, Pablo R Larraonda, Dean Ansell, Philip Gibbons

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is the centre-piece of the Australian Government’s climate policy. It was first introduced in 2014 and is comprised of three main elements: a carbon offset crediting scheme, which issues Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) to projects that abate emissions; a purchasing scheme, whereby the Clean Energy Regulator (on behalf of the Australian Government) voluntarily purchases ACCUs from eligible offset projects; and the ‘Safeguard Mechanism’, which imposes emission obligations on designated large facilities that can be met through the relinquishment of ACCUs. 

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Research theme: Environmental Law

Measurement Error

Measurement Error in the Emissions Reduction Fund's Human-induced Regeneration (HIR) Method

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh, Don Butler, Dean Ansell

The Human-induced Regeneration (HIR) method is a centrepiece of the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). Broadly, the method allows landholders to earn carbon credits, known as Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs), for the regeneration of native forests through changes in land management. At present, the HIR method accounts for the most project registrations of any method under the ERF, the most Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) issued of any method, and more than 50% of all ACCUs contracted through the ERF purchasing scheme, worth approximately $1.5-$1.6 billion. HIR project areas now stretch across more than 20 million hectares of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia and, in these areas, the method is having a material influence on property markets.

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Research theme: Environmental Law

Integrity

The Emissions Reduction Fund's Landfill Gas Method: An Assessment of its Integrity

Author(s): Andrew Macintosh

The available data provide compelling evidence that the majority of the abatement credited under the Emissions Reduction Fund’s (ERF) landfill gas methods has not been additional. It appears that in the order of two-thirds of the abatement credited under the methods would have occurred in the absence of the incentive provided by the issuance of ACCUs. The non-additional abatement credited under these methods equates to approximately 19.5 million Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs), or almost 20% of the total number of ACCUs issued under the ERF to the end of 2021. These credits are likely to have been worth more than $300 million.

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Research theme: Environmental Law

Youth activists

Youth Activists, Climate Conscious Lawyering and Environmental Policy: Parliamentary Inquiry Submissions in Legal Education'

Author(s): Heather Roberts, Andrew Ray, Annika Reynolds

As legal practice adapts to the changing expectations lawyers face, law schools must also adapt to ensure they continue to engage their student populations. How law schools can teach the wider “climate-conscious” advocacy skills that future legal generations will require remains an underexplored area. In this article, we propose one novel approach law schools might take, namely,  creating  and implementing a parliamentary inquiry submission student writing program. We argue that such an approach

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Research theme: Environmental Law, Legal Education

The Limits of the Natural State Doctrine: Rocks, Islands and Artificial Intervention in a Changing World

The Limits of the Natural State Doctrine: Rocks, Islands and Artificial Intervention in a Changing World

Author(s): Imogen Saunders

The natural state doctrine suggests that under UNCLOS, maritime features must be assessed in their ‘natural state’, before any artificial intervention. While this has been applied in the context of artificial island building, it could also apply to cases of artificial augmentation of features (such as, for example, desalination activities). This article examines the appropriateness of this doctrine in the context of islands, arguing an expansive application of the doctrine is both textually unsupported and practically infeasible in light of changes brought by climate change.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law

Oil, Gas and Energy Law

Comparing the Hydrogen Strategies of the EU, Germany, and Australia: Legal and Policy Issues

Author(s): James Prest

For hydrogen to assist in meeting ambitious decarbonisation goals, national law and policy has a central role. This article presents a critical analysis of Australian law and policy for hydrogen energy, by comparison with selected European jurisdictions. Existing energy policy literature describes divergent paradigms and pathways to hydrogen futures. Australia is a case study of policy conflict over competing methods of hydrogen production and their differing climate change implications.

Co-authors: J. Prest; J. Woodyatt; J.P.J. Pettit.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, International Law

The Future of Australia's Federal Renewable Energy Law

Author(s): James Prest

This article presents a critical analysis of Australia's federal renewable energy law. Its operation as a system of tradeable renewable energy certificates is briefly explained, before an analysis of the future of the Renewable Energy Target beyond 2020 is undertaken. The implications of the Federal Government's recently abandoned National Energy Guarantee and the subsequent decision no to expand or extend the Renewable Energy Target are discussed. The article presents an international comparison which demonstrates that Australia's national support for renewable energy is unambitious in relative terms. It argues that in several respects, Australian federal renewable energy is unambitious in relative terms. It argues that in several respects, Australian federal renewable energy law must be extended to address important issues that are presently receiving little legislative or political attention.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, Law, Governance and Development, Regulatory Law and Policy

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Australian Renewable Energy Law: Carbon Lock-In or Clean Energy Transition? The Pursuit of Policy Stability and Energy Security at Higher Levels of Renewable Generation

Author(s): James Prest

This article critically analyses recent developments in Australia’s renewable energy law and policy. It identifies seven retrograde steps taken in energy and climate law in Australia in the last five years. Barriers to clean energy law - in the form of recurring narratives employed against the rise of renewable energy across Australia - are examined. Increased levels of renewable energy are portrayed by opponents as a threat to the security and reliability of electricity supply. Yet, the nation is currently experiencing a major renewable energy investment boom, supported by regional policy initiatives that are driving innovation, most recently in energy storage.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, Law, Governance and Development, Regulatory Law and Policy

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National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and the Hazards of Being the Nexus between Global and Local: A Case Study of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) in the Maelstrom of Public Controversy

Author(s): Jonathan Liljeblad

National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), as set forth in the 1993 Paris Principles, are expected to be independent bodies that promote and monitor state implementation of international human rights standards. In such a role, an individual NHRI bridges the gap between “international human rights obligations and actual enjoyment of human rights on the ground” and thereby operates as a nexus between a global human rights system and local conditions. A location at the nexus has the potential to offer opportunities to exercise powers as an intermediary on behalf of human rights in terms of enabling engagement between global and local levels. The analysis, however, draws upon the experiences of the Myanmar National Human Rights Commission (MNHRC) to assert that there are limits for institutions at the nexus between global and local. Using a public controversy from 2016 that questioned the legitimacy of the MNHRC and threatened its existence as an NHRI, the analysis seeks to improve understanding of the risks facing NHRIs and add insight into the ways contextual politics challenge expectations for NHRIs to operate as human rights intermediaries.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, International Law, Law, Governance and Development

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Beyond Transnational Advocacy: Lessons from Engagement of Myanmar Indigenous Peoples with the UN Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review

Author(s): Jonathan Liljeblad

On July 21, 2015, the Coalition of Indigenous Peoples in Myanmar/Burma (CIPM), a group representing 24 indigenous rights organizations in Myanmar, announced they were submitting a report to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session on Myanmar. The use of the UPR represents an attempt by Myanmar’s indigenous groups to address a variety of issues not traditionally associated with human rights, among them: environmental grievances associated with alleged government seizure of land, deforestation, pollution, and suppression of land-use rights.

The use of the UPR also illustrates an indigenous strategy of reaching up to an international level in order to address problems at a local one: the CIPM resorted to the UPR in hopes of mobilizing pressure to change the behavior of the Myanmar government. This article explores the experiences of the CIPM with the UPR to draw lessons for other groups that seek to use the UPR to advance their interests.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, Human Rights Law and Policy, Indigenous Peoples and the Law, International Law, Law, Governance and Development

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Advisory Opinion on Responsibility and Liability for International Seabed Mining (ITLOS Case No. 17): International Environmental Law in the Seabed Disputes Chamber

Author(s): Donald Anton

On 1 February 2011, the Seabed Disputes Chamber (“the Chamber”) delivered its first Advisory Opinion. The Opinion provides useful guidance to the international community concerned with the deep seabed. First and foremost, the Chamber accomplished its task to assist the ISA with independent and impartial judicial interpretation of the Convention and related instruments. States that intend to extract valuable resources now know that they must evaluate their legal codes, administrative capacity, and their judicial enforcement mechanisms to determine where they fall short of the standards that the Chamber has identified. For most states it will be necessary to introduce new laws to provide the requisite rules, regulations and procedures. Entities seeking sponsorship will likely wish to work with these governments to develop a workable regime. Other entities, such as those interested in scientific research, other economic uses, and protection of the ocean and seabed resources, will want to assist with this process to ensure that their interests are respected and that developing states are given assistance to develop appropriate laws and enforcement capacity. Finally, the limitations and gaps in the Convention’s liability scheme have now been identified and await the international legal community’s attention.

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Centre: CIPL, CLAH

Research theme: Environmental Law

Tolley's International Taxation of Upstream Oil and Gas

Tolley's International Taxation of Upstream Oil and Gas

Author(s):

The scope of this title is to introduce and review significant international tax issues for upstream oil and gas operations. The book introduces and explains practical upstream tax issues, with an emphasis on tax risk management and related tax planning. Readers will develop skills in identifying tax exposures and opportunities, managing tax negotiations, and applying tax planning solutions and is intended to benefit accountants, lawyers, economists, financial managers and government officials. The book aims to be the first choice for the new starter in upstream oil and gas taxation. It also aims to be the best introduction of international tax issues relating to upstream oil and gas, enabling the reader to analyse and understand new situations and circumstances, rather than an encyclopaedic reference of tax issues.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Administrative Law, Environmental Law, International Law

International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives

International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives - Second Edition

Author(s): Donald Rothwell, Stuart B Kaye, Afshin Akhtarkhavari, Ruth Davis

International Law: Cases and Materials with Australian Perspectives is the authoritative textbook for Australian international law students. Written by a team of experts, it examines how international law is developed, implemented and interpreted, and features comprehensive commentary throughout. All core areas of the law are covered, with chapters on human rights, law of the sea, international environmental law and enforcement of international law. Cases and treaties are dissected to highlight the key principles, rules and distinctive learning points. This new edition has been thoroughly updated in line with recent developments in the field and includes a new chapter on the use of force, as well as expanded content on the enforcement of international law, including sanctions, law enforcement against pirates and the 2011 Libyan conflict. International Law provides clear and rigorous analysis and is an indispensable resource for law students.

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Centre: CIPL

Research theme: Environmental Law, International Law

Environmental Protection and Human Rights

Environmental Protection and Human Rights

Author(s): Donald Anton

This book concentrates on the relationship between human rights and the environment. The first chapter provides the framework for the book’s analysis and begins by defining “environment” and noting recent changes to environmental conditions and their causes, such as reduced biodiversity and increased population and resource consumption. The first portion of the chapter concludes by suggesting actions such as removing financial incentives for over-consumption of limited economic resources, that could improve the current environmental trends.

Read on SSRN

Centre: CLAH

Research theme: Environmental Law, Human Rights Law and Policy

Pages

Updated:  10 August 2015/Responsible Officer:  College General Manager, ANU College of Law/Page Contact:  Law Marketing Team