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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will this morning introduce a Private Members Bill to reveal the true extent of Australia’s contribution to global climate change. The National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment (Transparency in Carbon Emissions Accounting) Bill, lifts the lid on Australia’s true carbon footprint by requiring the Federal Government to include exported emissions in reports of Australia’s carbon emissions, boosting transparency and accountability. The Bill also ensures that the community has timely access to Australian emissions data.

“Australians need to know the country’s true contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Wilkie said. “That’s why this Bill ensures that we collect so-called scope 3 emissions data, which are indirect greenhouse gas emissions, and in particular the potential carbon emissions contained in fossil fuels. This would allow Australia to track its impact as one of the largest exporters of fossil fuels and give the public access to information about Australia’s position in contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Frankly it’s preposterous that we currently export more than one billion metric tonnes of C02 potential to countries around the world, but still claim to be doing our bit to prevent climate change. We simply can’t continue pretending that, even though it’s Australian policies which lead to Australian companies digging up Australian fossil fuels, that we have no responsibility for the carbon emissions released as a result.

“This Bill also ensures that greenhouse gas emissions data is promptly made public, keeping the community and experts informed with Australia’s latest emissions figures. No more hiding behind major sporting events or national holidays, no more two-month delays while the Minister refines his speaking points. This amendment creates a legally binding obligation on the Minister to table the greenhouse gas inventory updates in Parliament no later than 10 days after he or she receives them.

“Australia must urgently start doing its fair share to reduce global carbon emissions. The community is crying out for strong action, and the first step is transparency and accountability, not carry over credits and fudging the numbers.”