Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has released draft guidelines for public comment on managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Submissions close 8 February, 2022 with final guidelines set to be released in August.
The draft guidelines outline a risk management approach that can be applied to GHG emissions. It is being implemented under Victoria’s Environment Protection Act 2017 which was introduced on 1 July, 2021.
The new Act increases maximum penalties for serious environmental offences with corporates facing fines up to $3.2 million and individuals can get jail terms up to five years.
The centrepiece of the legislation is the General Environmental Duty (GED), which is criminally enforceable. It means reasonable steps must be taken to minimise harm to the environment.
The Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) has welcomed the release of the draft guidelines pointing out the refrigeration and air conditioning industry has been adhering to an emission reduction scheme for almost 20 years.
ARC CEO, Glenn Evans, said that since the introduction of the industry’s national licensing scheme in 2005 Australia’s RAC technicians have reduced emissions of ozone depleting gases by more than 25 mega tonnes.
“Today, Australia’s RAC technicians number more than 115,000,” he said.
“More and more, the environment has become the driver and state and federal governments implement operating guidelines that make it necessary for businesses to evolve.”