How this affects you:

The Australian Government has taken two further, significant steps towards readying itself for the commencement of an emissions trading scheme and to facilitate participation in the global carbon market.

On 30 September 2009, the Government established the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU) and the Australian National Authority (ANA), discussed in more detail below.

Australian National Registry

International linkage

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Australia is required to establish a registry that tracks holdings and transfers of the various forms of international carbon units defined under the Kyoto Protocol. The establishment of the ANREU fulfils this obligation and will enable organisations or individuals wishing to hold Kyoto units in Australia to do so. Until now, organisations wanting to trade in international Kyoto units were obliged to establish accounts with registries in countries such as Switzerland or the UK.

The ANREU links with the international carbon market through the International Transaction Log, which verifies the validity of transactions of Kyoto units including issuance, transfer, and acquisition between registries.

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS)

The Registry will also be a crucial piece of infrastructure once the CPRS is introduced.

Any business, organisation or individual holding or trading CPRS compliance permits will need to apply to the ANREU to open an online account in the Registry. These compliance permits can either be Australian emission units or eligible Kyoto units. The proposed Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority will use the Registry to confirm that entities have met their CPRS obligations.

Certain information recorded in the online Registry will be publicly available, including details of the name and address of each account holder.

Australia’s National Authority for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI)

Internationally agreed rules under the Kyoto Protocol provide that countries participating in the CDM (projects carried out in developing countries) and JI (projects carried out in developed “Annex I” countries) must establish a Designated National Authority (DNA) and Designated Focal Point (DFP) to approve private entities’ participation in CDM and JI projects respectively.

Australia’s DNA and DFP are grouped into a single body within the Department of Climate Change called Australia’s National Authority for the CDM and JI. Any entity that holds an account in the ANREU is eligible to apply for a CDM or JI Letter of Approval from Australia’s National Authority. The Government has published guidelines and procedures for approving participation in CDM and JI projects, available on the Department’s website, which indicate that Letters of Approval will be issued within 14 days of receiving a completed application.

There is a relatively limited role for JI in Australia in the short term, given that the Australian Government has decided that Australia will not be hosting JI projects in the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (2008-2012). The Government has also decided that Australia will not host JI projects in sectors covered by the CPRS, and will decide in 2013 whether to host JI projects in uncovered sectors.