The objective of the audit was to assess the effectiveness of the Department of the Environment and Energy’s arrangements for the preparation and reporting of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions estimates and projections. To form a conclusion against this objective, the ANAO adopted the following high-level criteria:
- Were robust processes established to prepare and report emissions estimates and projections?
- Were sound arrangements in place to support the preparation and reporting of emissions estimates and projections?
Providing opinions on the accuracy of the reported GHG emissions estimates and projections contained in the National Inventory Report 2014 (revised) and December 2016 projections report, respectively, was not within the scope of the audit.
The arrangements established by the department for the preparation and reporting of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions estimates and projections were largely effective.
Appropriate processes have been established to prepare, calculate and publish Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions estimates to June 2014 and emissions projections to 2030. The emissions estimates contained in the National Inventory Report 2014 (revised) and the December 2016 projections report have been calculated using relevant contemporary data. Appropriate quality assurance and control procedures are in place for the preparation of most of the emissions estimates and projections, but could be: better applied in relation to data entry to improve inventory accuracy and completeness; and expanded to better encompass the estimates projections for all sectors and abatement measures. The publication of additional key input data, assumptions, formulas and methods would increase the projections’ transparency and utility to stakeholders and users. On the whole, the quality of Australia’s inventory compares well to the inventories of other Annex I (developed) countries.
Governance arrangements for the preparation and reporting of inventory estimates and emissions projections are generally effective, with the exception of risk management which requires strengthening. Monitoring arrangements have facilitated the timely preparation and reporting of inventory estimates and emissions projections that met UNFCCC submission deadlines. The department has engaged stakeholders throughout the preparation and reporting process and significantly improved the efficiency of inventory estimates preparation and reporting over recent years.