The Australian Government this week announced two major developments in the establishment of the Australian Carbon Trust - the innovative new body which will help Australian households and businesses contribute directly to reducing carbon pollution.
Professor Robert Hill will be appointed chair of the Board to be established for the Australian Carbon Trust.
The Trust's headquarters will be established in Brisbane. This will complement the location of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility at Griffith University, helping make Brisbane a hub of activity to tackle climate change in Australia.
The Australian Government has committed $75.8 million to establish the Australian Carbon Trust which will promote energy efficiency measures to households and businesses to help all Australians do their bit on climate change.
Mr Rudd presented the Australian Carbon Trust as the "local" aspect of attempts to reduce Australia's greenhouse footprint, but just as important as the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which targets bussinesses to help limit carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million.
As chair, Professor Hill will work with the board to manage and implement the Trust's two key initiatives; the Energy Efficiency Savings Pledge Fund and the Energy Efficiency Trust.
The Energy Efficiency Savings Pledge Fund will provide a web-based calculator so that households can calculate their energy use and the dollar savings that result from energy efficiency activities.
Individuals will be able to pledge the resulting savings, or any other amount, to the Pledge Fund to buy and cancel carbon pollution permits. This will enable individuals to directly contribute to achieving Australia's emissions reduction targets. The Pledge Fund will be entirely voluntary and contributions will be tax deductible.
The Trust also aims to ensure that buildings meet the highest possible energy savings ratings.
One avenue of help to business is a $50 million "revolving fund" to help businesses apply for grants to make changes to their buildings, he said.
"Effectively the fund will provide grants for the building of commercial buildings and as the savings from energy efficiencies from those deployed technologies come in, those grants are then repaid," Mr Rudd said.
This $50 million fund is called the Australian Carbon Trust's Energy Efficiency Trust.
The Energy Efficiency Trust will bring together public and private seed funding, business skills and culture and technical knowledge to leverage investment in energy efficiency activities in commercial buildings and other business operations.
The Government expects the Australian Carbon Trust will be incorporated as a public company within the next six months, and a board of directors appointed.
Professor Hill was Senator for South Australia from 1981 to 2006 and is a former Minister for the Environment (1996-2001) and Minister for Defence (2001-2006). Professor Hill was Australia's ambassador to the United Nations and is currently Adjunct Professor in Sustainability at the University of Sydney's US Studies Centre.
The Australian Carbon Trust will be developed in collaboration with the Carbon Trust in the United Kingdom, which is a leader in working with business to cut carbon and develop commercial low carbon technologies.
Information relating to the Australian Carbon Trust and the establishment of the Board will be available on the Department of Climate Change website shortly.