The role of the Clean Energy Regulator is determined by climate change law. The schemes we administer work together to reduce emissions while encouraging business competiveness.
In particular, the Clean Energy Regulator has administrative responsibilities in relation to the:
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National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme
The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme is a national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production, energy consumption.
Corporations that meet a specified emissions threshold must register under the framework and provide a report each year.
Information collected through the scheme provides the basis for assessing liable entities under the carbon pricing mechanism. This data also provides important input into Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, projections and reporting under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and reporting to the International Energy Agency. It is also informs policy development relating to greenhouse gas emissions and energy production and consumption.
Carbon Farming Initiative
The Carbon Farming Initiative is a voluntary scheme that aims to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere from activities on the land. From November 2014, the Carbon Farming Initiative will transition to the Emissions Reduction Fund.
There are different types of activities that can be conducted under the Carbon Farming Initiative. These fall into two categories – emissions avoidance, where greenhouse gas emissions are prevented from entering the atmosphere, and sequestration, where carbon is stored on the land.
One Australian carbon credit unit (ACCU) is issued for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) stored or captured by a project.
ACCUs issued under the Carbon Farming Initiative can be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset liability under the carbon pricing mechanism until 2 February 2015. ACCUs may continue to be sold after 2 February 2015 to people and businesses wishing to voluntarily offset their emissions.
Renewable Energy Target
The Renewable Energy Target is designed to encourage investment in new large-scale renewable power stations and the installation of new small-scale systems, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and hot water systems in households. The Renewable Energy Target also aims to ensure that at least 20 per cent of Australia's electricity supply will come from renewable sources by 2020.
The Renewable Energy Target has two core components: The Large-scale Renewable Energy Target (LRET) and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES). Together, these schemes create a financial incentive for investment in renewable energy.
Carbon pricing mechanism
The carbon pricing mechanism applies to Australia’s biggest polluters who have to report on, and pay a price for, their carbon pollution. The carbon pricing mechanism has been abolished from 1 July 2014.
Generally, if a facility met or exceeded 25 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence (CO2-e) in a financial year, the person responsible for the facility was liable under the carbon pricing mechanism.
These people were known as liable entities. Liable entities must still meet their carbon price obligations for the 2013-14 financial year.
Emissions Reduction Fund
The objective of the Emissions Reduction Fund is to help Australia to meet its emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.
Other things we do
We track the ownership and location of units or certificates issued under these schemes, and under the Kyoto Protocol, through the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU) and the REC Registry.
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The responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator include:
- providing education and information on the schemes that we administer
- monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with each scheme
- collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing information and data
- ensuring the integrity of the carbon and renewables economic markets
- accrediting auditors for the schemes we administer, and
- working with other law enforcement and regulatory bodies.
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