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The House Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy today tabled its report on Andrew Wilkie MP’s National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill 2020 in Federal Parliament.

“Regrettably the Committee has voted to cover up Australia’s shameful role as one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change,” Mr Wilkie said. “But the reasoning behind its recommendation for Parliament not to pass this Bill doesn’t stack up.”

Mr Wilkie’s Bill would require the Federal Government to include scope 3 emissions in reports of Australia’s carbon emissions, boosting transparency and accountability. Scope 3 emissions are the potential emissions contained in the gas and coal mined in Australia, which is then exported overseas. The Bill allows Australia to track its impact as one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels in the world, giving the public access to information about Australia’s role in very significantly contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Australia must have a clear picture of its contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Wilkie said. “This is essential as the world tries to limit warming to 1.5 degrees and halt catastrophic climate change. Keeping track of Australia’s scope 3 emissions is not double counting but gives a true picture of our responsibility for climate change around the globe.

“The Committee can hardly argue that tracking scope 3 emissions is ‘too hard’ when the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has not even conducted an assessment of compliance costs. For goodness sake, the Committee acknowledges that more than a quarter of ASX200 companies already voluntarily report their scope 3 emissions.

“Further, the fact that this kind of tracking is not required by the Paris Agreement is beside the point. The Australian Government should be open and transparent for the sake of the community, rather than claiming that Australia can do little to influence climate change. The truth is that when the carbon in fossil fuel exports is taken into account, Australia accounts for about 5 per cent of the global total for fossil fuels.”