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Our operating environment

Dynamic, global environment

The Clean Energy Regulator operates in a dynamic operating environment that spans all sectors of the economy, levels of government and a wide range of stakeholders. We achieve our purpose and objectives by administering our schemes while scanning and proactively addressing challenges and opportunities.

It is critical that we look beyond our schemes to events and developments in other sectors, both domestically and internationally, to identify trends and signals that may have implications for our schemes. Areas of focus include: developments in Australia’s electricity market as it transitions to renewable generation; corporate and government initiatives to reduce and offset emissions; development of new low emissions industries such as clean hydrogen; adoption of new technologies such as electric vehicles; and international developments such as the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in Glasgow.

Cooperation with scheme participants, partners and stakeholders

We are committed to working with industry, the Department and others to address the challenges facing the Australian energy sector and carbon markets in providing adequate, reliable and affordable energy, while also meeting our international obligations on reducing emissions.

We will contribute to the Department’s work developing a low emissions technology deployment incentive scheme to reduce emissions from Safeguard Mechanism covered facilities. We will work closely with industry to implement these arrangements.

We will also conduct further consultations with stakeholders to enable environmental plantings projects to participate and access the benefits of our schemes; and work with state and territory agencies to build awareness and potential integration with the Commonwealth’s ERF crediting architecture, and co-design methods under the ERF that facilitate greater participation under the program.

a diagram showing CER's cooperation with scheme participants, partners and stakeholders

We strive to support the emergence of a vibrant carbon market with our schemes and the growing business appetite to meet corporate sustainability goals by voluntarily surrendering units to offset emissions.

Carbon markets

We continue to focus our effort on the agency’s statutory role with the RET, ERF and NGER schemes, and also expand our efforts and capability to deliver new initiatives.

Over coming years the agency will support the emergence of an Australian Carbon Exchange as well as deregulation initiatives that will reduce the costs of participation in our schemes and registries.

The CERT will provide a trusted and independent source of information to encourage voluntary participation in Australia’s vibrant and growing carbon markets.

We anticipate the uptake of optional delivery contracts will continue to grow. This bodes well for the overall liquidity of the market and is likely another sign of an emerging trend where the private market share of purchased abatement grows and the Commonwealth’s role as the dominant purchaser diminishes over time.

Technological development

The Department manages and delivers policies and programs to help Australia respond to climate change including Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap. The Department is consulting on a Hydrogen Guarantee of Origin scheme for Australia, to give consumers information so they can choose the product that best suits their needs. Hydrogen will be an internationally traded commodity and Australia has the potential to be a major exporter. This scheme is expected to evolve over time to encompass downstream clean hydrogen products such as low emission steel and ammonia. We will assist the Department in design and implementation of the Guarantee of Origin Scheme, as necessary.

We will use our knowledge and expertise to build on our assurance frameworks, systems, tools and processes to help Australia unlock its full potential to produce, use and export low emission solutions.

International developments

The agency is co-designing with NGER reporting corporations a CERT report to help companies show clearly how they are tracking towards their voluntary emissions reduction commitments.

We are also supporting the Department to develop a high-integrity carbon offset scheme in the Indo-Pacific region. This scheme will be modelled on the ERF and allow us to pass on our knowledge in setting up and stimulating investment in high quality emission offsets.

Collectors and custodians of data

The agency is the custodian of Australia’s key emissions, energy and abatement data. We provide regular insights and data to inform government policy, programs and activities and help meet Australia’s international reporting obligations. For example, we share company information about greenhouse gas emissions, energy production and energy consumption collected under the NGER scheme and publish Quarterly Carbon Market Reports that cover the 3 national carbon markets we administer.

Quality data is essential for the integrity of our schemes, supporting a vibrant carbon market and underpinning the reputation of the agency as a trusted, relevant and expert institution. We are guided by whole-of-government initiatives such as the Australian Government’s Public Data Policy, and the provisions within our legislation that govern how we use, share and manage our data safely and securely.

We pursue opportunities for improving the way we use our data, ranging from using automation to achieve operational efficiencies and identify non-compliance early, to harnessing advanced data science to improve our understanding of relevant factors so we can more readily adapt to changing circumstances and make evidence-based decisions. An internal data strategy has led to a phased program of work being delivered across the agency that will uplift our research and development capabilities, improve the curation of our data holdings and ultimately deliver innovative data services to our participants.


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