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National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020

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2019-2020

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Andrew Wilkie MP



National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020

 

 

OUTLINE

 

This bill seeks to ensure transparency and accountability in the way the Australian Federal Government reports Australia’s carbon emissions by amending the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act). The bill amends the reporting requirements to capture scope 3 emissions in all reporting obligations. Scope 3 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas emissions other than scope 2 emissions that are generated in the wider economy or internationally. In a domestic setting, they occur as a consequence of the activities of a facility, but from sources not owned or controlled by that facility's business. The implication for Australia’s greenhouse gas accounting at a national level is that fossil fuel exports, that are processed and used in electricity generation internationally, will be included in the national inventory. This amendment allows Australia to track its impact as one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels in the world and allows the public access to information about Australia’s position in contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill additionally amends the NGER Act to ensure that the Minister tables Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory estimates in Parliament each quarter. This will provide certainty for the Minister in his or her reporting obligations, and make the report accessible to the public soon after it is completed. This measure is intended to increase the transparency of emissions reporting, and promote accountability for the Government as it enacts climate change policy. This amendment is in response to criticism of the Government suggesting it delays or times the release of emissions data.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

The bill will have no financial impact.

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short Title



1.     This clause is a formal provision and specifies the short title of the Bill as the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Act 2020 .



Clause 2: Commencement

 

2.     This clause provides for the commencement of the Act on the day after it receives Royal Assent.



 

Clause 3: Schedules

 

3.     This clause establishes that, as the intent of the Bill is to be realised through amendments to another Act, the Schedules of this Bill will amend that Act accordingly.

 

Schedule 1

 

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007

 

Item 1: After paragraph 10(1)(aa)

 

1.     Inserts the term scope 3 emission of greenhouse gas into the Dictionary.

 

Items 2 through Item 19:

 

2.     Inserts scope 3 emissions into reporting requirements.

 

Item 20: After section 24

 

3.     Item 20 inserts section 24A into the Act which relates to publication of information about the national greenhouse gas inventory. Subsection (1) mandates the Regulator to report to the Minister within 3 months after the end of each

reporting quarter.

4.     Subsection (2) mandates that the report must include statistics relating to national emissions estimates for the quarter, the year ending at the end of the quarter, and a sectoral breakdown of these reporting periods.

5.     Subsection (3) ensures the Minister tables copies of these reports in Federal Parliament within 15 sitting days of the House after the day the Minister receives the reports. This ensures the public have full and prompt access to Australia’s greenhouse gas data.



Item 21: After subsection 25(1)

 

6.     Item 21 exempts section 24A reports from any requests not to be published.

 

 

 

 

 



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020

 

This bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the bill

 

This bill seeks to ensure transparency and accountability in the way the Australian Federal Government reports Australia’s carbon emissions by amending the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER Act). The bill amends the reporting requirements to capture scope 3 emissions in all reporting obligations. The bill additionally amends the NGER Act to ensure that the Minister tables Australia’s national greenhouse gas inventory estimates in Parliament each quarter. This amendment allows Australia to track its impact as one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels in the world and ensures the public access to information about Australia’s position in contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Human rights implications

 

This bill does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms. 

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

 

 

 

Andrew Wilkie MP