Australian Carbon Credit Units
Australia has a number of different national and state-based carbon markets, some of which are voluntary and some are compliance based. There are also international voluntary markets such as the Verified Carbon Standard and Gold Standard. These private companies buy and sell carbon credits and are open to Australian primary producers to participate in. At present there is one Australian carbon project that has Gold Standard certification. When considering an international carbon market it is important to understand that any carbon credits generated do not count towards Australia’s greenhouse gas inventory. See FINAL - Review of International Offsets 5.8.2022 (climatechangeauthority.gov.au) for more information.
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is an Australian government voluntary scheme that aims to provide incentives for a range of organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their emissions. It is enacted through the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011, the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Regulations 2011 and the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Rule 2015.
The types of projects you can choose to undertake as part of the ERF are called methods. The methods explain how to carry out a project and measure the resulting reductions in emissions. Methods for the land sector include:
- increasing soil carbon
- reducing livestock emissions
- expanding opportunities for environmental and carbon sink plantings, and
A number of activities are eligible under the methods, for example there are a number of different activities that can be implemented under the soil carbon method. Participants can earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) for emissions reductions. One ACCU is earned for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent stored or avoided (as emissions) by a project. ACCUs can be sold to generate income, either to the government through a carbon abatement contract, or in the secondary market.
The ERF provides an opportunity for farmers and land managers to earn additional income and achieve other benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or capturing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.
More information about how to participate in the ERF can be found on the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator website:
- Eligibility to participate in the ERF
- Four steps to participate in the ERF
- Planning a project - resources.
Currently there are 67 ERF registered soil carbon projects and five vegetation projects in the Limestone Coast region which can be seen on an interactive map that the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator has developed.
"Responsibility for meeting obligations to undertake a project in accordance with the law always rests with the business or individual concerned."
Source ‐ Clean Energy Regulator Commission © Commonwealth of Australia. Information provided under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia.
What is the role of the Clean Energy Regulator?
- registering projects
- running auctions
- managing carbon abatement contracts
- issuing Australian Carbon Credit Units on achievement of emissions reductions.
Check out the Emissions Reduction Fund interactive map to find out what projects are near you!
Carbon opportunity decision support tool
The Australian Farm Institute and Agrifutures Australia has developed a free carbon opportunity decision support tool designed to assist Australian land managers in better understanding carbon farming opportunities and to identify which might be best suited to their enterprise.
Soil carbon case study: Olsen’s
The Clean Energy Regulator, in collaboration with the Carbon Market Institute, has developed a suite of video case studies that highlight the experience and achievements of landholders in the ERF.
Each case study highlights a different method under the ERF and they can be viewed on the Australian Governments Clean Energy Regulator website. Below is one of the case studies about the soil carbon method on Neils Olsen's Gippsland farm. This is the first farm in Australia to be issued ACCUs under the soil carbon method.