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Monday, 7 November 2011
Page: 8421


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (21:13): I will formally respond to the benchmark amendments, which are (4), (10) to (14) and (29), when they are moved. I think I have responded already to the target amendments. I know we are jumping around a fair bit here, and I am very happy for us to vote on Senator Xenophon's amendments. We could at least get two amendments voted on tonight.

In relation to the issue that Senator Joyce, I think, was raising, I am advised that Australia follows IPCC guidelines to seek global warming potentials for greenhouse gases. The current global warming potential for methane in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Regulations 2008 is set at 21—that is, obviously, a tonne of methane is equivalent to 21 tonnes of CO2. The IPCC guidelines currently do not differentiate between different sources of methane when determining global warming potential. I understand the senator is referencing an academic debate about that, a very interesting one no doubt but probably not relevant to the bill before the chamber. The global warming potential of methane from agricultural sources is obviously not relevant to this legislation as agriculture is not covered. I have responded already to Senator Xenophon's amendments and am very happy to vote on them.