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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11744

Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

(Question No. 1139)

Mr Fletcher asked the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, in writing, on 16 August 2012:

Further to the answers to question in writing Nos. 741 and 1012 (House Hansard , 14 April 2012, page 4202, and 14 August 2012, page P98, respectively) in which it was indicated that the National Broadband Networks (NBNs) Network Termination Device (NTD) will consume on average approximately 6.8 watts of power, compared with a standard corded telephone on the existing Telstra network using 0.5 watt of power, does the Government have an estimate of the additional carbon dioxide that is likely to be generated from the use of the NTD post NBN rollout; if so, how many additional tonnes are estimated to be generated in the first year.

Mr Combet: The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

As emissions from generating electricity will fall under the cap of Australia’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), there will be no net additional carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions resulting from the use of network termination devices once the National Broadband Network has been rolled out.

This demonstrates the value of an ETS as a mechanism that allows the Government to set a quantitative emissions target for the entire economy and have certainty of delivering on that target.

Under Australia’s ETS, commencing in 2015-16, the Government will set a cap on greenhouse gas emissions (including CO2) from covered sectors of the Australian economy and issue permits up to that cap. Covered entities will be required to surrender one permit for every tonne of CO2 they emit. Because the total number of permits cannot exceed the cap, any emissions increases in one sector of the economy must be offset by emissions reductions elsewhere, or through the purchase of an offset unit. This results in net emissions from covered sectors being limited to the level of the cap.