The role of the Clean Energy Regulator is determined by climate change law. In particular, the Clean Energy Regulator has administrative responsibilities in relation to the:
In 2007, the Australian Government introduced the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, a single, national framework under which corporations must report on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and energy production. 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.
The data reported under the scheme is also a key input to Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. It is used in 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 a critical input to policy development relating to greenhouse gas emissions and energy production and consumption, for both the Australian Government and, increasingly, the governments of the states and territories.
Australia introduced a price on carbon, commencing on 1 July 2012, to create an incentive for businesses to cut emissions by investing in clean technology and finding more efficient ways of operating.
In the first three years, the price is fixed, starting at $23 per tonne in 2012–13. From 2015–16, it transitions to a flexible market price under a ‘cap and trade’ scheme.
In both the fixed and the flexible price periods, liable entities have to report on their emissions and pay a price for every tonne of carbon pollution or equivalent greenhouse gases that they emit. The reporting on emissions is administered through the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme.
The Australian National Registry of Emissions Units is a secure electronic system designed to accurately track the location and ownership of:
Organisations or individuals that have an emissions liability or wish to hold, transfer, cancel, surrender or relinquish such units are required to have an Australian National Registry of Emissions Units account.
The Carbon Farming Initiative allows land managers to earn ACCUs by storing carbon or reducing greenhouse gas emission on the land.
Activities that count towards Australia’s national target under the Kyoto Protocol—including reforestation, avoided deforestation, and reduced emissions from livestock, manure, fertiliser and waste deposited in landfills before 1 July 2012—can earn Kyoto ACCUs. These credits can be used to acquit liabilities under the carbon pricing mechanism. Other credits can be sold to people and organisations wishing to offset their emissions in the voluntary market.
The Renewable Energy Target creates a financial incentive for investment in renewable energy sources through the creation and sale of certificates that can be used to offset emissions liabilities. Electricity retailers are required to offset a proportion of their demand by buying and surrendering certificates.
The Renewable Energy Target is split into two parts: the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target and the Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme.
The Renewable Energy Target has an internet-based registry system that facilitates the creation, registration, auditing, transfer and surrender of large-scale generation certificates and small-scale technology certificates.
The responsibilities of the Clean Energy Regulator include:
The Clean Energy Regulator’s monitoring and enforcement powers include powers to:
The Clean Energy Regulator encourages scheme participants to comply voluntarily with legislative requirements and recognises that engagement, education and support assist regulated entities to comply with their obligations. The Clean Energy Regulator’s approach is outlined in its Compliance, Education and Enforcement Policy.
About The Clean Energy Regulator
Carbon Farming Initiative
Carbon Pricing Mechanism
National Greenhouse And Energy Reporting
Renewable Energy Target
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.
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