One of the main issues raised dealt with the public disclosure of data, with feedback called on the approach to disclosure of subsidiary level data and whether scope one and two emissions data should be reported separately.
The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System, Regulations Policy Paper was released to inform the development of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System, expected to take effect from July.
Under the scheme, some 700 companies will be expected to report on their emissions and energy use for 2008/09, with the first reports to be submitted by October 31 2009.
“The new national reporting system will provide the data needed to underpin Australia’s national emissions trading scheme,” Climate Change Minister Penny Wong said.
The policy paper outlines proposed approaches to reporting requirements including the scope of data subject to mandatory reporting, detailed definitions of terms such as relevant facilities and emissions, reporting requirements for greenhouse gas offsets and actions to reduce or remove emissions.
A discussion paper on the national reporting system was released in October and submissions have been published on the DCC website.
One of the issues addressed in the discussion paper was the type of greenhouse gas emissions data to be included in reporting requirements. The policy paper said although some stakeholders expressed opposition to the collection of scope two data (indirect emissions from consumption of purchased electricity, heat or steam), the majority supported separate disclosure of scope one (direct emissions) and two emissions data.
An amendment to the act has therefore been proposed so corporations separately disclose scope one and two emissions.
Stakeholders largely supported the proposal put forward in the discussion paper for the public disclosure of data for both the controlling corporation and its subsidiaries, according to the policy paper.
Therefore greenhouse emissions, energy consumption and energy production totals for both the controlling corporation and the members of the controlling corporation’s group will be disclosed to the public.
Feedback from the discussion paper also indicated concern that if data were publicly disclosed without relevant contextual information, the public would not receive an accurate picture of a corporation’s management of greenhouse emission and energy.
For example, the corporation may have undertaken a number of energy efficiency measures to reduce their energy use. As a result, the policy paper proposes corporations will have the ability to report and disclose contextual data on a voluntary basis.
The policy paper provides a basis for final drafting of the regulations in early 2008. Submissions should be made to the Department of Climate Change by February 27 and public information sessions will be held in Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane from February 11-15.