The federal government is calling for public input to design the centrepiece of its Direct Action plan for combating climate change.

The coalition on Wednesday released the terms of reference for its Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), the principle mechanism by which it plans to reduce emissions by five per cent by 2020.

The fund is capped at $1.55 billion for its first three years and provides incentives for abatement activities that reduce emissions, like revegetation and improving soil carbon.

The “carbon buyback” approach promises to fund these abatement activities in Australia at the least possible cost.

The ERF will work in conjunction with other green programs, like the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Renewable Energy Target, to achieve its unconditional emissions target.

The government is seeking input from business and community leaders on potential sources of low-cost abatement and will consider these in a report to be released in December.

It’s also looking for submissions on other key design features of the ERF, including baselines and contract arrangements.

A white paper outlining the final design of the ERF will be released early in 2014.

The government hopes to have the carbon tax repealed by June 30 next year and has released draft legislation on this for public consultation.

The ERF would take effect from July 1. Submissions in response to the terms of reference of the ERF close on November 18.