The Secretariat to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has confirmed Australia's units, or Assigned Amount Units, for the 2008-2012 commitment period, were 2,957,579,143 tonnes of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions.
This is equivalent to 108 per cent of 1990-level emissions.
Senator Wong said the issuing of the Kyoto units meant Australia could now participate in international emissions trading under the Kyoto Protocol.
'This milestone shows the Australian Government's continued commitment to being part of a global solution to climate change,' Senator Wong said.
'Emissions trading is emerging as the primary measure globally to reduce emissions. The recent G8 meeting in Italy endorsed cap and trade schemes, saying they had proved largely successful and allowed countries to reduce emissions in a cost-effective manner.
'Our commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to limit carbon pollution in 2008-12 is only a first step to protecting the future generations of Australians and must be followed up with the passage of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.'
The Kyoto Protocol allows for countries to create and acquire Kyoto units from other countries via three flexibility mechanisms and use those units to meet their targets.
The flexibility mechanisms include:
- International emissions trading that allows countries to trade in Kyoto units,
- Clean Development Mechanism that allows developed countries to undertake projects to reduce emissions in developing countries and receive Kyoto units in return; and
- Joint Implementation that allows developed countries to undertake projects to reduce emissions in other developed countries.
- Companies and individuals will be able to trade in Kyoto units from September this year, when they will be able to open an account in the registry. Entities will be able to receive and transfer Kyoto units that they purchase on the international carbon market.
The registry, which will be administered initially by the Department of Climate Change, will track and record all Australian trade in Kyoto units.