Question Number: 31
PDR Number: AI-31
Date Submitted: 22/02/2022
Department or Body: Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
1. As a Party to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement (the UN climate treaties), Australia measures and reports its greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the rules and guidelines set out in decisions adopted under those UN climate treaties.
As such, Australia estimates its greenhouse gas emissions using methods consistent with guidelines prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC 2006).
Consistent with these rules and guidelines, Australia submits an annual National Inventory Report to the UNFCCC that provides estimates from 1990 onwards of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks across Australia’s economy.
At a domestic level, the Commonwealth National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act) requires companies whose emissions or energy use exceed specified thresholds to report their emissions from energy, industrial and waste sources in accordance with methods set out in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination 2008. These methods are designed to be consistent with IPCC emission estimation guidelines in order to support implementation of Australia’s emission reporting obligations under the UN climate treaties.
2. Decisions under the UN climate treaties, including on the emission estimation and reporting rules, are taken on a consensus basis by countries who are Party to each treaty in the context of that treaty’s annual conference or meeting of the parties. Australia is an active participant in these negotiations, ensuring decisions taken reflect our national circumstances and technical expertise.
The NGER Act company-level emission estimation and reporting rules are made by the Australian government, subject to review by Parliament.
3. The UN climate treaty rules are periodically reviewed by the treaties’ Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, comprising the Parties to the treaties. The first review of the Paris Agreement rules will take place no later than 2028. These reviews will be informed by updates to emissions estimation guidance prepared periodically by the IPCC’s Taskforce on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The updates will also take into account input from countries on their experiences implementing rules, including updates and improvements to be made. Australia works closely with like-minded countries in these processes to ensure rule updates reflect our interests and national circumstances.
The company-level emission estimation and reporting rules under the NGER Act are reviewed each year by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, in consultation with the NGER Act administrator the Clean Energy Regulator, with proposed amendments customarily subject to public consultation before they are made.
4. Each Party’s National Inventory Report is published on the UNFCCC website. Under the Paris Agreement, all countries are required to prepare national inventories applying the same rules and standards and each National Inventory Report will be subject to a technical expert review performed by a team of international inventory experts selected by the UNFCCC secretariat. The review will assess the Report’s consistency with the emissions estimation and reporting rules and guidance.
The results of the technical expert review will be published and submitted, along with the Party’s National Inventory Report and other information, for consideration by the Parties in accordance with the Paris Agreement’s Facilitative, Multilateral Consideration of Progress process (FCMP). The FCMP is a multilateral peer-review process allowing countries to ask questions of each other to better understand information reported and to hold each other to account for implementing the Paris Agreement.