Carbon reporting begins in lead-up to emissions trading

By: Jason Whittaker

The Federal Government’s first step in reducing carbon emissions has taken effect, with the introduction of the National Greenhouse and

The Federal Government’s first step in reducing carbon emissions has taken effect, with the introduction of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System.

The scheme forces companies to monitor and report emission and consumption levels if they reach a certain threshold. A raft of trucking companies are expected to be forced to report diesel consumption levels because of the stringent emissions threshold set by the Government.

Operators without subsidiaries or facilities will be required to register under the scheme if they purchase more than 2.59 million litres of diesel in any state or territory.

The Government has, however, altered original provisions regarding transport, doubling the threshold level for diesel consumption if diesel purchases are split between states. Companies doing this will need to monitor and report their emissions once they hit the five million litres threshold.

National operators will need to have a depot or facility in more than one state in order to come under the corporate threshold of 12.95 million litres. The threshold will be reduced over three years as the Rudd Government ramps up efforts to slash Australia’s carbon footprint.

Companies will have until August 31 2009 to apply to register under the NGERS, and until October 31 to submit a report on consumption levels.

Minister for Climate Change and Water Penny Wong says the Department of Climate Change will be working closely with businesses affected to ensure they meet their obligations under the reporting scheme.

The department will run information sessions on how to use the online reporting system. It has also uploaded an online calculator to help businesses determine whether the NGERS affects them.

Wong says the reporting scheme forms part of the Government’s commitment to averting climate change.

"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," Wong says.

According to Wong, an emissions trading scheme is the best way to reduce emissions while keep business costs to a minimum. The scheme is to be introduced in 2010.

The Government will soon release a discussion paper on emissions trading following an interim report on climate change by Professor Ross Garnuat, which is to be released July 4.

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