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Greenhouse gas measurement

Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts are made up of a series of comprehensive reports and databases that estimate, and account for, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. These publications fulfil Australia's international and domestic reporting requirements.

The National Greenhouse Accounts are supported by company emissions measurement rules, legislated under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (Measurement) Determination. These reporting rules are reviewed annually.

The Department also releases official projections of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions annually. These projections forecast a range of policy environments and scenarios.

Tracking Australia's greenhouse gas emissions

The Department publishes Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts, which track national emissions from 1990 onwards. Australia's greenhouse gas emissions are estimated as a nation, by state and by industry.

This data is used to:

  • meet Australia's reporting commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  • track progress against Australia's target under the Kyoto Protocol; and
  • inform policy makers and the public.

International reporting rules

The national inventory is prepared according to the framework of rules supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. All parties to these agreements must use the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines on Annual Inventories and the supplementary reporting requirements under the Kyoto Protocol to prepare their national inventories. These guidelines establish standardised reporting formats and require detailed information on all aspects of each party's national inventory system, including measurement systems, data collection systems, estimation methodologies, reporting and data management.

The Australian Government's Initial Report under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was submitted by the Australian Government to the secretariat of the UNFCCC as part of the Australia's National Inventory Report 2014 and Revised Kyoto Protocol National Inventory Report 2013. This report facilitates the calculation of the assigned amount pursuant to Article 3, paragraphs 7bis, 8 and 8bis of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and to demonstrate its capacity to account for its emissions and assigned amount during that period (2013-2020).

To ensure consistency and comparability between the inventories of different countries, emissions must be estimated using the methods described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Currently emission estimates are compiled in accordance with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC 2006) and the 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol (IPCC 2014). Parties may also use country-specific methodologies where these are consistent with the IPCC guidelines and improve the accuracy of emissions estimates. Australia predominantly uses country-specific methodologies and emissions factors, described in detail in the National Inventory Report.

Company emissions measurement

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER) Scheme was introduced in 2007 to provide data and accounting in relation to greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and production.

Australia's emissions projections

Australia releases official projections of its greenhouse gas emissions annually.