The National Greenhouse Strategy (NGS) provides the strategic direction for Australia's
greenhouse response and is the primary mechanism through which our international
commitments on climate change will be met. The National Greenhouse Strategy has been
developed through a coordinated effort of the Commonwealth, State and Territory
Governments. Local government, industry and community consultations have also made
The National Greenhouse Strategy presents a comprehensive approach to tackling greenhouse issues, focusing action on three fronts: improving our awareness and understanding of greenhouse issues; limiting the growth of greenhouse emissions and enhancing greenhouse sink capacity; and developing adaptation responses.
The Australian Greenhouse Office has a key role in coordinating the implementation of the National Greenhouse Strategy at a Commonwealth level. Implementation planning for the National Greenhouse Strategy is expected to be completed in mid 1999. The implementation planning process will present a clear picture of actions and measures that are being pursued by each jurisdiction and will outline the emissions saving that will be delivered by the implementation of the NGS. An allocation of $10 million over three years has been made to fund Commonwealth National Greenhouse Strategy measures additional to those announced by the Prime Minister in November 1997.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1289
Emissions trading should potentially minimise any economic costs to Australia of meeting its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and any subsequent international agreements restricting greenhouse gas emissions.
|Box 8.3: Emissions Trading Discussion Paper
In March 1999, the Australian Greenhouse Office released the first of its series of four discussion papers on emissions trading.
The paper, titled Establishing the Boundaries, discusses the comprehensiveness of a national emissions trading system within Australia, focusing on the greenhouse gases and sectors of the economy that could be covered.
For the purposes of discussion, the paper:
The options canvassed in the paper are intended to stimulate discussion on emissions
trading. They do not represent the final views of the AGO or the Government. The paper, as
will be the case for subsequent discussion papers, was widely circulated for comment to
allow the AGO to systematically develop views on the establishment of an emissions trading
system in Australia.
The Australian Greenhouse Office is issuing a series of four public discussion papers as a basis for in-depth consultation with State and Territory Governments, other stakeholders and the public to assess the feasibility of various options for the possible introduction of a national emissions trading system. The consultation process will inform any policy decisions taken by the Commonwealth Government. The public discussion papers are:
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1132
The National Carbon Accounting System for land-based sources is providing the framework
and services necessary to account for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sink
enhancement programmes. The work includes refining methods in the estimation of land
clearing, biomass and soil carbon to reduce uncertainties for the purposes of national
reporting under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Government has announced the establishment of the Cooperative Research Centre for Terrestrial Carbon Accounting, which will receive a total of $56 million over seven years, with $17.7 million contributed by the Commonwealth. The Centre will ensure that Australia is in a strong position to argue internationally for a comprehensive system of accounting for carbon emissions and sinks, through improvements of the fundamental science which underpins the National Carbon Accounting System.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 7274 1107
|Box 8.4: Bush for Greenhouse
Bush for Greenhouse is a Commonwealth Programme that will create opportunities for communities and industry to learn about the role of vegetation as carbon sinks and developments in `carbon credits' and emissions trading. In particular, it will assist landholders, community groups and companies to define, measure and monitor carbon sequestration at the project level.
The Programme also aims to expand greenhouse gas sinks by facilitating corporate investment in revegetation projects for environmental purposes. In this way, it will build on investments being made through the Natural Heritage Trust, particularly Bushcare. Bush for Greenhouse will operate within the framework of the Greenhouse Challenge Programme in which participating companies may be able to negotiate arrangements with landholders to count the carbon sequestered through revegetation activities as an offset to their emissions.
The Commonwealth is providing $5.5 million over the period 1998-99 to 2002-03 to fund the Programme.
Contact: Environment Australia, Biodiversity Group -- 02 6274 2257
Bush for Greenhouse aims to enhance Australia's greenhouse gas sinks by facilitating
greater industry investment in native revegetation.
The programme will create opportunities for companies to claim carbon offsets through the Greenhouse Challenge Programme. The programme will assist landholders, industry and government to build their capacity to measure and monitor carbon sequestration through regional revegetation projects. The Commonwealth will provide support for data gathering, extension, research and refining methods to measure carbon sequestration in native revegetation.
Funding of $5.5 million has been provided to implement the programme over 1998-99 to 2002-03. (Also see reference in biodiversity Chapter 4.)
The Prime Minister's Statement Safeguarding the Future: Australia's Response to Climate Change provided $1.9 million to the year 2001-02 to remove impediments to the development of commercial plantations to achieve the Plantations 2020 vision of trebling the plantation estate by the year 2020. This will build on the $22 million provided to the year 2000-01 for farm forestry and the $328 million provided to the year 2000-01 for the revegetation programme being undertaken under the Bushcare Initiative of the Natural Heritage Trust.
Contact: Australia Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1289
As part of its international and national commitments, the Government prepares an
annual National Greenhouse Gas Inventory (NGGI) of anthropogenic (human induced)
emissions. The 1996 NGGI was released in October 1998. Considerable effort is being
focused on reducing the high level of uncertainty in the emissions resulting from land-use
change and forestry activities, including measurement of vegetation cover using satellite
The NGGI is a database of human induced emissions of greenhouse gases from sources and removals by sinks completed on a sectoral basis. Annual national inventories provide a trend line that may be used to monitor and review response actions and may be used as a base to develop emissions projections.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1039
The National Greenhouse Research Programme aims to support, through targeted research,
the development of policies and activities to deal with atmospheric change and
greenhouse-induced climate change. It comprises a core component providing funding to the
CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology and National Tidal Facility; and a component supporting
research projects and activities on the science and impacts of climate change undertaken
by various institutions.
The Government will provide an additional $2 million in 1999-2000 and $4 million for each of the following three years for the National Greenhouse Research Programme. The programme aims to improve understanding of how Australia's climate will change and what the impacts of those changes will be, thus allowing more informed planning and decision making.
During 1998, the Greenhouse Science Advisory Committee, supported by eminent scientists from a range of climate related disciplines, prepared a strategy and business plan for greenhouse science covering 1999-2004 which is being considered by the Government.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1039
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation has developed unique expertise in Australia in isotope dating techniques and has applied these particularly to the use of long-lived radionuclides as tracers and chronometers in ice for use in global climate change studies and the surface exposed rocks and landforms for glacial chronology. Nuclear techniques have been developed for the analysis and characterisation of fine particles and for tracing large-scale air movements using radon.
Contact: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation -- 02 9717 3209
|Box 8.5: Greenhouse Challenge Programme
Greenhouse Challenge is a highly successful joint initiative between the Commonwealth Government and Australian industry designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Australian industry.
Australian industry accounts for approximately 45 per cent of Australia' greenhouse gas emissions and through Greenhouse Challenge, firms are encouraged to take a voluntary and self-regulatory approach to emissions reductions.
Since the programme's launch in October 1995, over 345 enterprises have joined Greenhouse Challenge. As of December 1998, 209 enterprises have signed voluntary agreements to abate their emissions. The Greenhouse Challenge Programme's 2005 target of forecast savings of 25 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent is expected to be achieved by the year 2000.
Part of the Greenhouse Challenge is the Greenhouse Allies programme launched in 1998 as a new policy initiative that extends the Challenge to small business. The first Allies projects, involving 150 small businesses, commenced in early 1999.
Greenhouse Challenge is funded at $6 million per annum to 2001-2002.
Greenhouse Challenge is a joint initiative of the Commonwealth Government and Australian industry, to encourage industry to reduce its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. This is achieved through voluntary cooperative agreements consistent with growth and competitiveness. The Greenhouse Challenge is part of the Partnerships Group of the Australian Greenhouse Office, with an interdepartmental Steering Committee involving representatives of the Departments of Industry, Science and Resources, and Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 6274 1773
The Community Partnership component of the Australian Greenhouse Office Partnerships Group comprises two programmes: Cities for Climate Protection and Household Greenhouse Action.
Cities for Climate Protection (CCP) is a programme that assists local governments to
achieve sustainable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It is an International Council
for Local Environmental Initiatives programme delivered in collaboration with the AGO.
The CCP programme assists local governments to quantify greenhouse emissions from both their own operations and the community, and to develop local action plans to reduce these emissions.
It has been estimated that local governments have an influence over activities that contribute up to 50 per cent of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. The CCP programme will harness this influence to reduce greenhouse emissions at the community level.
Funding has been provided to implement the Programme with a target of 200 councils, covering 50 per cent of the population, by 2003.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 62741323
The Household Greenhouse Action (HGA) programme aims to optimise reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the household sector. It uses a voluntary approach to facilitate creative partnerships across community, State and Territory Governments, industry and Commonwealth Government. It is a unique approach for which there are no models nationally. The Household Greenhouse Action Network is the primary consultative mechanism for the development and implementation of the programme. The membership of the Network includes key stakeholders from community, industry, local, State and Territory and the Commonwealth Governments.
Contact: Australian Greenhouse Office -- 02 62741323