Glossary


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ABS

  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is a major source of data for the agricultural sector.

Accounting Framework

  • The National Greenhouse Accounts are compiled consistent with both UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol accounting provisions.

    The principal source of difference between the two accounting frameworks is the treatment of emissions sources and sinks from the land use, land use change and forestry sector. UNFCCC provisions are underpinned by a comprehensive approach to emissions accounting and require the inclusion of all sources and sinks where there is adequate data while Kyoto provisions require a more limited set of sources and sinks from land use change and forestry activities (i.e afforestation, reforestation and deforestation).

Activity

  • A process that generates greenhouse gas emissions or uptake. In some sectors it refers to the level of energy consumption, production or manufacture for a given process or category or animal numbers.

Afforestation

  • Afforestation is a subset of land converted to forest land and includes only those forests established since 1 January 1990 on land that was clear of forest on 31 December 1989. Forests under land converted to forest land may be established through planting events either for commercial timber or for other reasons, known as �environmental plantings�, or by regeneration from natural seed sources on lands regulated for the protection of forests.

AGEIS

  • The Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System (AGEIS) centralises the Department's emissions estimation, emissions data management and reporting systems. AGEIS is being used to compile National and State and Territory inventories. The interactive web interface provides enhanced accessibility and transparency to Australia's greenhouse emissions data.

ANZSIC

  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is derived from international classifications (ISIC, International Standard Industrial Classifications) and provides a framework for organising data about businesses - by enabling grouping of business units carrying out similar productive activities. The ANZSIC was developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in collaboration with Statistics New Zealand.

Activity Table

  • Tables which present activity data (i.e quantity of fuel consumed, animal numbers etc) used to derive emission estimates.

Australia's National Greenhouse Accounts

  • The Department of the Environment and Energy publishes a suite of reports that, together, constitute the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts. The Accounts include:
    • Quarterly Updates of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory , provides the latest emission estimates reported on a Kyoto accounting basis and according to IPCC sectors;
    • the State and Territory Greenhouse Gas Inventories, provides emission estimates on a Kyoto Protocol basis and according to IPCC sectors;
    • the National Inventory by Economic Sector , provides national and state and territory emission estimates by economic sector rather than by IPCC sectors; and
    • the National Inventory Report , prepared under the reporting provisions applicable to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol.

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Confidentiality

  • Data that is considered to be commercially sensitive is reported as "C" in the CRF tables. Confidential emissions are reported as an aggregated CO2 equivalent value.

Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table

  • The common reporting format tables form part of the National Inventory Report. The CRF tables are a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change reporting template for countries to report their greenhouse gas emissions by sector, gas, trends and recalculated data in an electronic format. For each inventory year the CRF tables are compiled for the current inventory year and re-compiled for each year back to 1990.

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Deforestation

  • Deforestation under the KP is a subset of forest conversion and includes only lands where there has been direct human-induced conversion of forest to alternative land uses since 1 January 1990.

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Emission Type

  • The release of a particular gas to the atmosphere as a result of a certain activity. Emissions can be one of the following four types:
    • Generated - the gross result of a process or activity;
    • Recovered - the diversion of emissions for use in a secondary process, such as power generation;
    • Sinks - the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere;
    • Net emissions - remaining gas released to the atmosphere after generation, recovery and sinks are taken into account.
  • The most common data in the AGEIS are net estimates of emissions. The default setting for the system is to retrieve net emissions. If you select 'all' you retrieve estimates for all four types of emissions, although note that the system will take longer to complete this task.

Emission Factors

  • The quantity of greenhouse gases emitted per unit of some specified activity.

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Fugitive Emissions

  • Fugitive emissions involve the release of non-combustion, greenhouse gases arising from the production and delivery of fossil fuels. Fugitive emissions from solid fuels arise from the production, transport and handling of coal, and emissions from decommissioned mines and coal mine waste gas flaring. Fugitive emissions from oil and gas extraction, production and transport involve venting, flaring, leakage, evaporation and storage losses.

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Gas

  • The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Emissions from these gases are reported under the Kyoto Protocol, and aggregated into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e) using factors called global warming potentials (GWPs). The default setting for the system is to report emissions of the six main classes of gases aggregated into a single CO2-e estimate for each sector. Emissions of other, indirect gases, which cannot be aggregated because they do not have GWPs applied to them, are also reported individually under the UNFCCC inventory. These gases include nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) and sulphur dioxide (SO2).

Global Warming Potential

  • Represents the relative warming effect of a unit mass of a greenhouse gas compared with the same mass of CO2 over a specific period. Multiplying the actual amount of gas emitted by the GWP gives the CO2-equivalent emissions. By international agreement, the GWPs used for this inventory are those identified by the IPCC in the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC 2007). (GWPs are listed in the notes section of the national inventory report).

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

  • The IPCC produces the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2006 Guidelines). The 2006 Guidelines were produced at the invitation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to update the Revised 1996 Guidelines and associated good practice guidance which provide internationally agreed methodologies intended for use by countries to estimate greenhouse gas inventories to report to the UNFCCC.

Inventory Year

  • The year in which emissions occur.The Australian inventory is sourced from Australian fiscal years data as key data sources obtained from national statistical agencies are published on this basis. For example the year 2012 refers to the Australian fiscal year from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012, and a similar format is used for other years to ensure that time series consistency is maintained. The estimates of emissions and removals in the LULUCF sector, where inventory-specific monitoring systems have been put in place, are produced on a calendar year basis.

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Key Source Category

  • A key source category has a significant influence on a country's total inventory of direct greenhouse gases in terms of absolute level of emissions, the trend in emissions, or both. Tier 1 key source analysis identifies sources that contribute to 95% of the total emissions or 95% of the trend of the inventory in absolute terms.

Kyoto Protocol

  • The Kyoto Protocol was developed through the UNFCCC negotiating process and is an international treaty designed to limit global greenhouse gas emissions. The Protocol sets binding greenhouse gas emissions targets for UNFCCC developed country parties that ratify the agreement.

    The Kyoto framework has unique accounting provisions for the estimation of a country's greenhouse gas emissions, providing for the inclusion of specific sources and sinks from the land use, land use change and forestry sector.

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Methodology


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Reforestation

  • Reforestation is a subset of land converted to forest land and includes only those forests established since 1 January 1990 on land that was clear of forest on 31 December 1989. Forests under land converted to forest land may be established through planting events either for commercial timber or for other reasons, known as �environmental plantings�, or by regeneration from natural seed sources on lands regulated for the protection of forests.

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Scope 1 Emissions

  • Direct greenhouse gas emissions

Scope 2 Emissions

  • Indirect greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of purchased electricity. Purchased electricity is defined as electricity that is purchased or otherwise brought into the organisational boundary of the entity. Emissions from electricity generation consumed within the electricity, gas and water sector are included for completeness although this electricity use includes own use of generators and does not necessarily meet the definition of scope 2 emissions. The sum of scope 2 emissions is equal to the direct (scope 1) emissions from electricity generation (IPCC Source Category 1.A.1.a).

Sector

  • The Inventory is divided into 5 IPCC defined sectors based on particular emissions processes:
    • Energy (IPCC sector 1),
    • Industrial Processes and Product Use (sector 2),
    • Agriculture (sector 3),
    • Land Use, Land User Change and Forestry (sector 4) and
    • Waste (sector 5).
  • Note that for any particular industry, emissions may be generated through more than one emissions process. For example, for the aluminium sector process emissions from the production of aluminium are accounted for in the Industrial Processes sector while the fuel combusted for energy in the production process is accounted for in the Energy sector. Similarly, for the agricultural industry, emissions from fuel combustion are reported under 'energy', while emissions from agricultural processes (for example enteric fermentation) are recorded under 'agriculture'.

Source

  • Any process or activity that releases a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.

Submission Year

  • The year in which the Department submits its national inventory report and is always two years later than the current inventory year. The submission comprises a complete time-series of inventory years from the base year (1990).

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Tier

  • The IPCC methods for estimating emissions and removals are divided into 'Tiers' encompassing different levels of activity and technology detail. Tier 1 methods are generally straightforward (activity multiplied by default emissions factor) and require less data and expertise than the most complicated Tier 3 methods. Tier 2 and 3 methods have higher levels of complexity and require more detailed country-specific information on things such as technology type or livestock characteristics. The concept of Tiers is also used to describe different levels of key source analysis, uncertainty analysis, and quality assurance and quality control activities.

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United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

  • An international treaty that commits signatory countries to stabilise anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. The UNFCCC also requires signatories to develop and update national inventories of anthropogenic emissions of all greenhouse gases not otherwise controlled by the Montreal Protocol.