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The Authority is established under the Climate Change Authority Act 2011 (the Act) and commenced operation on 1 July 2012. The Authority is a non-corporate independent statutory body established to provide advice on climate change.
The Authority has a number of functions as set out under the Act. These include:
- Conducting reviews and making recommendations on the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, which implements the Emissions Reduction Fund, and National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Act 2007.
- Conducting reviews and making recommendations on other matters as requested by the Minister responsible for climate change, or the Australian Parliament.
- Undertaking its own independent research and analysis into climate change and other matters relevant to its functions.
The Climate Change Authority’s objective is to provide rigorous, independent advice to the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, to assist the Department and the Australian Parliament on climate change policy, in order to improve the quality of life for all Australians.
The Climate Change Bill 2022 passed both houses of the Parliament and received Royal Assent in September 2022 and includes new functions for the Authority. The functions include providing advice on Australia’s progress on climate change targets and policies for the Minister for Climate Change and Energy’s annual statement to Parliament, and on Australia’s emissions reduction targets in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.