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Legislative purpose and responsibilities

The Clean Energy Regulator is the government body responsible for administering legislation that will reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy.

The functions of the Clean Energy Regulator are determined by the provisions of a range of climate change law. In particular, the Clean Energy Regulator has administrative responsibilities in relation to:

  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting, under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 and associated Regulations
  • the carbon pricing mechanism, under the Clean Energy Act 2011 and associated Regulations
  • the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units, under the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units Act 2011 and associated Regulations
  • the Carbon Farming Initiative, under the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 and associated Regulations, and
  • the Renewable Energy Target, under the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 and associated Regulations.

Several charging Acts are also included in the Clean Energy Future legislative package, but they do not contain powers and functions that have delegation within the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Clean Energy Regulator is focused not only on each of these schemes separately, but on how they work together to deliver its vision to support Australia's transition to a low carbon economy through an informed and efficient market for carbon and investment in renewable energy.

The Clean Energy Regulator incorporates the functions previously held by the Office of the Renewable Energy Regulator, the Carbon Farming Initiative Administrator and the Greenhouse and Energy Data Officer, with responsibilities that include:

  • providing education and information on the five schemes we administer and how they work
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with each scheme
  • collecting, analysing, assessing and publishing data
  • allocating units, including freely allocated units, fixed price units and auctioned units
  • accrediting auditors for the Carbon Farming Initiative, the carbon pricing mechanism and the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, and
  • working with other law enforcement and regulatory bodies, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme, the Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for:

  • administering the single national framework for the reporting and dissemination of emissions and energy information
    • The data reported under the Scheme is a key input to Australia's National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, projections and reporting under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Convention, and Australia's reporting to the International Energy Agency. Domestically, it is a critical input to policy development relating to greenhouse emissions and energy production and consumption in the Commonwealth, and increasingly in Australian states and territories.
  • progressing information sharing through Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with state and territory governments
    • Currently, all states and territories (except Western Australia where discussions are continuing) have formalised arrangements for the sharing of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.
  • improving data sharing across Commonwealth agencies by entering into new MoUs (for example with the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism) and providing data to meet new information needs
    • In 2012, the Clean Energy Regulator was a signatory to a Heads of Agency Agreement established to pursue better streamlining and governance of energy data collection and sharing.
  • engaging with stakeholders, clients and data experts to guide the development of new data systems and processes, and
    • These new tools will further enable simplified and efficient reporting by National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme reporters, as well as support the sharing of information across different Federal, state and territory schemes.
  • continually reviewing our systems and processes to seek to reduce the cost of compliance for clients in meeting their reporting obligations.

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