From Tuesday (1 July), businesses emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases will be required to monitor and measure the emissions ahead of reporting them to the Government by October next year.
Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the requirements were part of Australia’s new National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System.
“The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System will be an important part of our efforts to tackle climate change as we move to establish an emissions trading scheme,” Senator Wong said.
“The emissions trading scheme is at the heart of the Rudd Government’s plan to reduce greenhouse emissions. It is the best way to tackle climate change at lowest cost to families and business.
“This new system will play an important role by more precisely quantifying the greenhouse gases Australia produces. It will also, for the first time, provide robust and comparable information to the public on the greenhouse and energy profiles of Australia’s large corporations.”
From 1 July, corporate groups that emit 125 kilotonnes or more of greenhouse gases each year, or produce or consume 500 terajoules or more of energy, will be required to collect data to meet annual reporting requirements. Corporations controlling facilities that emit more than 25 kilotonnes of greenhouse gases, or use or produce 100 terajoules or more of energy, will also need to collect data.
(25 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 6,200 cars. 100 terajoules equates to the annual energy use of around 1900 households.)
While the Act governing the system comes into effect on 1 July 2008, relevant corporations will have until 31 August 2009 to apply to register under the scheme, and until 31 October 2009 to submit their first annual greenhouse and energy report.
“Many of these corporations already report their emissions and energy use to meet investor demands under existing programs, or as part of a growing corporate commitment to social responsibility and sustainability,” Senator Wong said.
“But others may be unsure as to whether or not they are covered by the system, and the Department of Climate Change will work closely with them to ensure they can comply.”
The Department of Climate Change has developed an online calculator to help businesses work out whether the system applies to them. The department will continue to run information sessions and provide guidance on using the online reporting system, along with a ‘reporting hotline’.