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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3392

Senator Cormann asked the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, upon notice, on 5 February 2010:

In regard to Australian financial liability for failing to meet requirements under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol ratified by the Rudd Government in December 2007:

(1)   Does the current estimate of national emissions as measured under the Kyoto Protocol show that Australia will exceed its target of 108 per cent of 1990 levels by 2012; if so:

(a)   by how much will Australia exceed its target; and

(b)   what is the estimated financial liability for Australia.

(2)   What would be the estimated financial liability to Australia of exceeding the Kyoto target by:

(a)   1 per cent;

(b)   2 per cent; and

(c)   5 per cent.

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:


(a)   Based on current projections, Australia is expected to meet its Kyoto Protocol target without the use of flexible mechanisms or importing emissions permits1.

(b)   As Australia is expected to reach its Kyoto Protocol target, Australia’s current estimated financial liability for the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2008-12) is zero.

(2)   I note that Australia is already halfway through the first Kyoto Protocol commitment period. At this stage, Australia’s emissions are projected to be almost 2 per cent below our Kyoto target over the five years1. It is therefore highly unlikely for Australia to be able to exceed its assigned amount by the percentages specified by the honourable senator over the entire five year Kyoto period.


1 Department of Climate Change, 2010, Australia’s Fifth National Communication on Climate Change:  A report under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, DCC, Canberra, ACT