Commonwealth of Australia (1998) National Greenhouse Strategy. Australian Government Publishing Service; Canberra.


Australia will actively contribute to the global effort to stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system and within a time frame sufficient to:

  • allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change;
  • ensure that food production is not threatened; and
  • enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable way.


The principles which have guided the development of the NGS and which will guide governments as they proceed with implementation are:

  • the need for Australia to have a strategic and comprehensive greenhouse response which is tailored to address our particular national interests and circumstances;
  • the need to integrate greenhouse considerations with other government commitments;
  • the pursuit of greenhouse action consistent with equity and cost-effectiveness and with multiple benefits;
  • recognition of the importance of partnerships between governments, industry and the community in delivering an effective greenhouse response;
  • the need for action to be informed by research.


The goals of the NGS are:

1. To limit net greenhouse gas emissions, in particular, to meet our international commitments.

2. To foster knowledge and understanding of greenhouse issues.

3. To lay the foundations for adaptation to climate change.

To achieve these goals, the NGS includes ongoing measures, many arising from the 1992 NGRS, and new measures announced by the Prime Minister in November 1997.

It also integrates greenhouse into other major policy initiatives, such as the Natural Heritage Trust, and launches new measures to increase greenhouse emission reduction activities across the Australian community. This document provides the strategic framework for an effective greenhouse response and for meeting current and future international commitments. It will provide a fresh impetus for action by governments, stakeholder groups and the broader community and set directions for that action into the next century.

Framework for effective implementation

The National Greenhouse Strategy provides a broad menu of actions some of which will be implemented by governments acting individually, some by joint intergovernmental initiatives and some through partnerships between government, various stakeholders and the community.

All governments will participate in arrangements designed to facilitate implementation, monitoring and reporting of outcomes, as well as the review and ongoing development of Australia’s NGS.

Institutional and advisory mechanisms

A High Level Group of senior officials from the Commonwealth, States and Territories is responsible for managing the ongoing monitoring, review and further development of the NGS. This Group will report to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

An advi s ory committee comprising key scientific, forestry, rural, industrial, and conservation interests will be established to provi de advice on the implementation of the NGS.

Implementation planning

Some information pertaining to implementation is included in the NGS, notably the jurisdictions to be responsible for pursuing the measures and the indicative timeframe for action. Detailed implementation plans are to be developed and will take the form of State or Territory greenhouse strategies or subsidiary documents to the NGS.

Monitoring and reporting

Reports on progress in implementing the NGS will be prepared biennially, with a first report to be produced in the second half of 2000 and tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament.

Performance indicators will be employed to contribute to assessments of the effectiveness of the NGS.

Review and further development of the National Greenhouse Strategy

In order to ensure Australia’s greenhouse response remains fully integrated and consistent, the NGS will be subject to periodic comprehensive review. The first review will be conducted during 2002, or earlier, if necessitated by developments relating to the FCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.

The further development of the NGS will be underpinned by research into the opportunities and constraints relating to greenhouse policy, and the benefits and costs of policy response and adaptation options.