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Federal Bill stymies state collection of climate change data: may stop state and territory environmental programs

Posted by gmarkets on 3 September, 2007

Under the proposed federal law establishing a single national framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions, introduced by the Howard Government on 15 August, states would be denied the right to collect their own data on emissions, reported The Advertiser (30/8/2007, p. 15). Data collection prevented: The federal legislation was being examined by a Senate committee before a final vote was taken. A Government source said a state would not be able to set any targets for emissions because it would not have the information from companies about how much they were discharging into the atmosphere. “How can you set targets under those circumstances?” the source said. The contentious clause 5 of the legislation prevented the states from forcing any companies to provide any information about greenhouse gas emissions or energy provisions. “This could result in much of the data now required for the operation of state legislation and programs simply not being collected,” a submission said.

Other laws affected: South Australia says in its submission that not being able to collect the data would make most of the core mechanisms of the South Australian climate change law, including the setting of targets, “unworkable”. It says other state laws affected included the licensing of power generation, gas distribution, the role of the Essential Services Commission and greenhouse gas impact assessment processes. South Australia also questioned the timing of the introduction of the federal law, which did not come into effect until 2012. “It may result in the cessation of many state and territory greenhouse programs,” the submission said.

The Advertiser, 30/8/2007, p. 15

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