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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 2015-16 we administered the:

  • Emissions Reduction Fund. This voluntary scheme provides incentives for industry, businesses, land owners, state and local governments and other organisations to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce emissions or store carbon. The scheme will help Australia meet its emission reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. For details visit the Emissions Reduction Fund page.
  • National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme. This scheme provides a national framework for reporting and disseminating company information about greenhouse emissions, and energy production and consumption. This informs policy and program development nationally and reporting internationally. For details visit the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme page.
  • 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 details visit the Renewable Energy Target page.
  • Australian National Registry of Emissions Units. This registry provides a secure online system for tracking the location and ownership of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) issued under the Emissions Reduction Fund and emissions units issued under the Kyoto Protocol. Organisations and individuals are required to use this registry if they want to own, transfer, cancel or relinquish units. For details visit the Australian National Registery of Emissions Units page.


We are responsible for:

  • providing education and information on the schemes we administer
  • monitoring, facilitating and enforcing compliance with each scheme
  • collecting, analysing, assessing, providing and publishing information and data
  • accrediting auditors for schemes we administer, 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 clientsParticipation in some parts of our schemes is voluntary. To be effective, the schemes need to attract and retain a strong base of clients who meet the requirements successfully and benefit from the schemes' initiatives. The schemes also impose obligations, which must be met. We want our clients to be informed, capable and willing to comply.
Efficient and effective administrationAs 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 institutionTo 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.
Secure and enduring infrastructureOur 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,1 other Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies, and
  • stakeholders—Australian Government departments and agencies, industry associations and other bodies.

For more details on partnerships, see the partnerships section on the Corporate governance page. For this year's client survey findings, see the client survey section on the Corporate governance page.


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:

Image acknowledgment: Clean Energy Regulator. Straits Mine, New South Wales,  National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.


Image acknowledgment: Clean Energy Regulator. Straits Mine, New South Wales,
National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme.


1 On 19 July 2016 the Department of the Environment was renamed the Department of the Environment and Energy.


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