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National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data is a national asset providing comprehensive coverage of Australia’s energy production, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

A national record of emissions and energy data

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme is a national framework for reporting and sharing information about greenhouse gas emissions, and energy production and consumption.

Corporations that meet legislated thresholds must register and report annually.

Reported data informs government policy, programs and activities, avoids duplication of similar reporting requirements in the states and territories, and helps meet Australia’s international reporting obligations.

Data from the scheme is also used to determine baselines for the Safeguard Mechanism and measure emissions against those baselines National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme.

As well as the emissions and energy data we are required to publish, we are progressively releasing additional related data as part of our continued effort to improve the availability and accessibility of national greenhouse and energy reporting information.

Highlights in 2018–19*

  • 336.3 million tonnes of scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions reported1
  • 3882 petajoules of net energy consumption reported
  • 413 corporations met the threshold for publishing their emissions and energy data
  • 96.9% of reports submitted on time
  • 100% of required data published on time

*Note, corporations report on the previous 12 months so these figures are for 2017–18.

Emissions and energy data largely consistent with the past year

Corporations report on data from the previous 12 months. The reports we receive by 31 October 2018 provided emissions and energy information for 2017–18. During that year, there were 865 organisations listed on the National Greenhouse and Energy Register.

A total of 413 corporations met the threshold for publishing their emissions and energy data for 2017–18, compared with 406 the previous year.2

On 28 February 2019, we published a range of information about 2017–18, including a point-in-time extract of reported scope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to net energy consumption, for each corporation that exceeded the publication threshold.

Key findings

  • National reported emissions were largely consistent with the previous year—A total of 336.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1) was reported for 2017–18, a slight increase on the 335.5 million tonnes (adjusted) reported for 2016–17. This increase was largely due to increases in the liquefied natural gas and oil and gas production sectors (4.1 million tonnes) and coal mining (1.3 million tonnes). There was a decrease in emissions in the electricity generation sector of 6.8 million tonnes. A total of 86.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2) was reported for 2017–18, an increase on the 85.8 million tonnes reported for 2016–17.
  • Electricity supply remained the main source of emissions overall—Consistent with the previous year, electricity generation accounted for 50.3 per cent of reported scope 1 emissions, followed by mining (includes oil and gas extraction) at 26.5 per cent, manufacturing at 15.1 per cent and transport at 4.9 per cent (see Figure 7).
  • Queensland and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory again recorded the highest percentage of emissions—As with the previous year, Queensland and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory accounted for the largest percentage of emissions, at 28.5 per cent and 26.6 per cent respectively, followed by Western Australia at 20.8 per cent and Victoria at 17.9 per cent. In comparison, South Australia accounted for 3.6 per cent, the Northern Territory for 1.7 per cent and Tasmania for 0.9 per cent.
  • Highest emitting industries by state/territory were consistent with the previous year, except for changes in South Australia and the Northern Territory—Electricity supply remained the highest emitting industry in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, and manufacturing remained the highest emitting industry in Tasmania. Oil and gas extraction remained the highest emitting industry in Western Australia. However, oil and gas extraction overtook manufacturing in the Northern Territory, and electricity supply overtook oil and gas extraction in South Australia.
  • Coal produced the most energy—Coal accounted for 44.1 per cent of energy production, followed by gaseous fossil fuels at 34.8 per cent, uranium at 11.7 per cent, petroleum-based products at 5.9 per cent and electricity at 3.0 per cent (with 0.5 per cent classified as 'other').
  • Electricity supply industry again consumed the most energy—In terms of net energy consumption, the electricity industry3 consumed the most energy at 38.2 per cent. Other high net energy consuming industries were mining at 26.7 per cent, manufacturing at 25.3 per cent and transport4 at 6.9 per cent. Other industries collectively represent less than 3 per cent of net energy consumption.

All data quoted above and published for 2017–18 is current as of 28 February 2019. Highlights and data sets for 2017–18 are on our website.

Figure 7: Sources of reported 2017–18 scope 1 emissions by industry sectorPie chart graph showing emissions by industry sector. Electricty supply remained the highest source of emissions generating 50.3% of all emissions; followed by mining 26.5%; manufacturing 15.1%; transport 4.9%; other 3.2%.

Figure 8: Highest sources of reported 2017-18 scope 1 emissions by state and territoryThis infographic shows the highest sources of reported 2016–17 scope 1 emissions by state and territory. In Queensland, electricity, coal and oil and gas extraction contribute 28.5% of Australia's total scope 1 emissions; New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, electricity, coal mining, and metal manufacturing contribute to 26.6% of Australia's Scope 1 emissions; in Victoria, electricity, oil and gas, and petroleum and coal manufacturing contribute 17.9% of Australia's Scope 1 emissions. In Tasmania, non-metallic mineral product manufacturing, metal manufacturing and electricity supply contribute 0.9% of Scope 1 emissions in Australia; In South Australia Electricity supply, oil and gas extraction, metal manufacturing contribute 3.6%; Western Australia oil and gas extraction, electricity and metal ore mining contribute 20.8%; Northern Territory oil and gas extraction, electricity supply and metal ore mining contribute 17% of Australia's scope 1 emissions.

Use of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data helps meet Australia’s international reporting obligations, informs and assists with Commonwealth, state and territory policy and program development, and reduces duplication in reporting.

In particular, the scheme data provides an important input for international reporting on emissions and energy by the Department of the Environment and Energy. For example, scheme data contributes approximately 60 per cent of the emissions data for the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, which is part of the National Greenhouse Accounts produced by the Department. These accounts are required to meet Australia’s reporting commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data also contributes around 80 per cent of the energy data for the Australian Energy Statistics. The Australian Energy Statistics is the authoritative and official source of energy data for Australia, and forms the basis of Australia’s reporting obligations to the International Energy Agency.

Information sharing networks

We provide the secretariat for the Commonwealth Information Sharing Network and the State and Territory Information Sharing Network, which are forums for representatives from the states, territories and the Commonwealth to discuss National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data.

These networks, and our ongoing interactions with state/territory government agencies through the training and support services we provide, will continue to assist in identifying opportunities for further use and enhancement of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data.

In addition, the new Reporting Hub allows users of National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme data to easily access the information they need for their individual use.

Aggregated scheme data

Publishing aggregated scheme data enables us to provide valuable emissions and energy information to the public and other data users while retaining confidentiality of individual reporter-level data. For example, our website includes ‘A closer look at energy and emissions data’, we provide aggregated scheme data through CSIRO’s proposed energy use data model, and we publish scheme and other data we collect through the Australian Renewable Energy Mapping Infrastructure Project’s National Map.

Safeguard Mechanism requires facilities to manage and report emissions

The Safeguard Mechanism requires Australia’s largest emitters to keep their emissions below a set baseline. The baselines are intended to reflect normal business operations and accommodate business growth.

The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme supports the Safeguard Mechanism by providing the data to help determine baseline emissions and check compliance with baselines.

Facilities that exceed their baselines in a financial year are required to manage and report on their emissions by 1 March in the following year. This was the third year of operation for the Safeguard Mechanism, with the second compliance period concluding on 1 March 2019. A total of 211 facilities were covered under the Safeguard Mechanism during 2017–18.5 These facilities are from a broad range of industry sectors including electricity generation, mining, oil and gas, manufacturing, transport, construction and waste. Collectively, these facilities gave rise to 138.4 million tonnes of covered emissions, accounting for a significant amount of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

To comply with the Safeguard Mechanism, facilities can manage excess emissions in a number of ways, including by purchasing and surrendering ACCUs to offset their emissions. See Emissions Reduction Fund.

There was 100 per cent compliance for facilities covered during 2017–18.

Setting and managing baselines

The Safeguard Mechanism came into effect on 1 July 2016. Baselines that have been set since then have been made using either historical data reported under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting scheme, or have been calculated based on an independently audited forecast of production and emissions intensity values specific to the facility.

During 2018–19, after receiving applications from affected facilities, we issued:

  • nine calculated baseline determinations to facilities without sufficient historical emissions data, or where historical data is not an indicator of future emissions
  • two baseline variations to facilities that exceeded their baselines, due to improved emissions intensity, as the emissions the facilities generated per unit of production would be lower than in previous years, and
  • 11 multi-year monitoring periods to facilities that exceeded their baselines, allowing them to average out their net emissions below their baseline over a two or three-year period.
    In total, these determinations covered 21 facilities, as one facility was granted both a calculated baseline determination and a multi-year monitoring period.

While most facilities are covered by individual baselines, electricity generators connected to the grid are covered by a sector-based approach. This is because the electricity sector behaves more like a single entity, where the output produced is centrally coordinated to meet real-time demand. If the sectoral baseline is exceeded in the future, individual baselines will apply to each generator.

Looking forward

Changes to the Safeguard Rule came into effect in March 2019. The amendments apply to baselines starting from 1 July 2018 and are intended to make the Safeguard Mechanism fairer and simpler, and ensure baselines reflect current circumstances.

The safeguard amendments mean there will be an increase in calculated baseline applications for baselines starting in 2019–20, as facilities transition to the new arrangements.

Throughout the year, we have been preparing for these changes, including updating tools and resources available on our website, and ensuring stakeholders are aware and informed of the amendments and their impact. We have also run workshops in major capital cities, engaged with industry groups and made targeted calls to participants as part of our approach to ensure responsible emitters are supported to continue to meet their obligations.


  1. Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions are the emissions released to the atmosphere as a direct result of an activity, or series of activities at a facility level. Scope 1 emissions are sometimes referred to as direct emissions.
  2. The publication threshold is 50,000 tonnes CO2-e of greenhouse gases from scope 1 and scope 2 emissions.
  3. Electricity, gas, water and waste services division as classified by Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC).
  4. Transport, postal and warehousing division as classified by ANZSIC.
  5. The Safeguard Mechanism applies to facilities with scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions of more than 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.