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A Bill for an Act to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
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Introduced HR 26 May 2003

Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003
First Reading

Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003
First Reading

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The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia


Presented and read a first time

Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003

No. , 2003

(Mr K. J. Thomson)

A Bill for an Act to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


A Bill for an Act to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


        Acknowledging that change in the Earth's climate and its adverse effects are a common concern of humankind,

        Concerned that human activities have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, that these increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect, and that this will result on average in an additional warming of the Earth's surface and atmosphere and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind,

        Noting that the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries, that per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low and that the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs,

        Aware of the role and importance in terrestrial and marine ecosystems of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases,

        Noting that there are many uncertainties in predictions of climate change, particularly with regard to the timing, magnitude and regional patterns thereof,

        Acknowledging that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and their social and economic conditions,

        Determined to protect the climate system for present and future generations,

        Recognising the ultimate objective of the Framework Convention on Climate Change is to achieve the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human induced interference with the climate system,

        Further recognising that such a level should be achieved within a timeframe sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner,

        Recognising that the International Panel on Climate Change has estimated that international greenhouse gas emissions would need to be cut by 60-80 per cent of 1990 levels to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

        Australia must play a leading and proactive role in collective international efforts to achieve an effective global solution to climate change and must contribute its fair share to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is a necessary first step in this direction.

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1--Preliminary

1 Short title
        This Act may be cited as the Kyoto Protocol Ratification Act 2003.

2 Commencement
        This Act commences 30 days after the day on which it receives the Royal Assent.

3 Object of the Act
        The object of this act is to enable Australia to meet its
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international obligations under the Convention and the Protocol.

4 Definitions
        In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

commitment period means the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2012 (inclusive).

Conference of the Parties means the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.

Convention means the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at New York on 9 May 1992.

Montreal Protocol means the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, adopted in Montreal on 16 September 1987 and subsequently adjusted and amended.

Protocol means the Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted at Kyoto on 11 December 1997.

the Minister means the Minister for the Environment.

5 This Act binds the Crown
        This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

Part 2--Ratification and implementation

6 Ratification
        The Government of the Commonwealth of Australia must deposit its instrument of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol with the United Nations within 60 days of the commencement of the Act.

7 National Climate Change Action Plan
        In order to achieve Australia's quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments under Article 3 of the Protocol, the Minister must prepare a National Climate Change Action Plan, setting out a detailed implementation strategy to meet Australia's obligations under Article 2 of the Protocol.

8 The Kyoto Target
        The Minister must ensure that Australia's aggregate human induced carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of greenhouse gases listed in Annex A of the Protocol in the first Commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, do not exceed its assigned amount of 108% of 1990 levels inscribed in Annex B of the Protocol.

9 Annual Greenhouse Gas Inventory and National Communication
       (1) The Minister must establish a national system for estimation of human induced emissions by sources and removals sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol in accordance with Australia's obligations under Article 5 of the Protocol and accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

       (2) The Minister must publish its annual inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with Australia's obligations under Article 7 of the Protocol and submit it for review by expert review teams pursuant to the relevant decisions of the Conference of Parties as set out in Article 8 of the Protocol.

       (3) The Minister must also submit a National Communication in accordance with the provisions under Article 7 and subject to subsequent decisions by the Conference of the Parties.

10 Framework for involvement in international trading schemes
       (1) The Minister must develop a mechanism to allow for the international transfer in emission reduction units including:

       (a) the transfer or acquisition of units from or to other Parties to the Protocol that result from projects aimed at reducing human induced emissions by sources or enhancing human induced removals by sinks of greenhouse gases; and

       (b) the transfer of emission reduction units under the clean development mechanisms.

       (2) In doing so, the Minister must establish a registry of emission units in order to:

       (a) ensure, for the first and subsequent commitment periods, the accurate accounting of:

       (i) the issue, holding, acquisition, transfer, retirement, and cancellation of emission reduction units; and

       (ii) the carry-over of assigned amount units, certified emission reduction units, and emission reduction units; and

       (b) ensure, in accordance with Article 7.4 of the Protocol, the accurate, transparent, and efficient exchange of information between the Registry and overseas registries.