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Role and functions


Our purpose is to accelerate carbon abatement for Australia.


We administer the Australian Government’s legislated schemes that work together to measure, manage, reduce or offset Australia’s carbon emissions and encourage investment in renewable energy.

During 2016–17 we administered the:

  • Emissions Reduction Fund. This voluntary scheme provides incentives for organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce emissions or store carbon. The aim is to help Australia meet its emissions reduction targets. For more details, see Emissions Reduction Fund. The associated safeguard mechanism is designed to ensure emissions reductions are not offset by significant emissions increases above business as usual levels in other sectors of the economy. For more details, see Safeguard mechanism.
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme. This scheme provides a national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption. This informs national policy and program development, and international reporting. The scheme also provides the reporting framework and historical greenhouse gas emissions data for the safeguard mechanism. For more details, see National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.
  • Renewable Energy Target. This scheme encourages the supply of additional electricity from renewable sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. It provides an incentive for investment in renewable energy power stations and smaller systems, such as household solar, while ensuring the energy sources are ecologically sustainable. For more details, see Renewable Energy Target.


We are responsible for:

  • providing education and information on the schemes we administer
  • assessing and crediting scheme participants
  • collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing information and data
  • accrediting auditors for schemes we administer
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with each scheme, and
  • working with other law enforcement and regulatory bodies.


Our objectives describe the type of regulator we aspire to be, the relationships we need to build, and our approaches to allocating resources, investment and operations.

Engaged, active and compliant clients

Participation in some of our schemes is voluntary. To be effective, the schemes need to have a strong base of clients who meet the requirements successfully and benefit from the schemes’ incentives. The schemes also impose obligations which must be met. We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply.

Efficient and effective administration

As an agency operating for the public good we have an obligation to be efficient and effective. In response to the government’s deregulation agenda, we continuously look for ways to do things more efficiently for us and our clients.

A trusted, relevant and expert institution

To address the challenge of reducing carbon emissions, we need to operate for many years as a capable, trusted agency relied on to make sound decisions based on excellent knowledge and data.

Securing and enduring infrastructure

Our changing policy environment and client base, and the need to operate efficiently, mean that we need resilient and adaptable long-term processes and systems, as well as reliable data.


We uphold the Australian Public Service values of impartiality, commitment to service, accountability, respect and ethical behaviour. We also value integrity, professionalism, responsiveness and empowerment. These value sets are complementary and underpin how we work with each other, as well as with clients, partners and stakeholders across government and industry.

Clients, partners and stakeholders

We work with:

  • clients—scheme participants and their professional advisers
  • partners—the Department of the Environment and Energy, other Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies, and
  • stakeholders—Commonwealth departments and agencies, industry associations and other bodies.

For more details on partnerships and for this year’s client survey findings, see Corporate governance.


The Clean Energy Regulator was established on 2 April 2012 as an independent statutory authority under the Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011. Climate change laws we administer include:

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