A trusted carbon market has huge potential to reduce emissions while putting money in the pockets of Australian farmers. On-farm carbon projects can make landscapes and rural economies more resilient, even during drought.
To date, the integrity of Australia’s carbon market has given Australia a competitive edge internationally. However, serious concerns were recently raised about the integrity of some carbon credits certified through the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) system.
“Farmers won’t be able to sell carbon credits if the buyers don’t believe those credits are real.” Farmers for Climate Action CEO Fiona Davis said
“Where credible concerns are raised it is important these are investigated to make sure farmers can continue to engage and participate in the market. Any lack of integrity, or even the perception of it, undermines market confidence for potential buyers of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs).”
Potential purchasers will continually assess integrity risk and it is important that confidence in the Australian market is retained and enhanced. Buyers of carbon credits will not risk their own reputations by ignoring integrity issues.
Dr Davis said that Farmers for Climate Action supports a thorough, independent review of the carbon credit certification system to ensure integrity and confidence in the scheme.
“The review should focussed on ensuring and maintaining that appropriate governance structures and scheme integrity are in place to underpin ongoing confidence of Australian carbon credits. It should also ensure the Clean Energy Regulator is functioning as intended in this space.”
Dr Davis noted that Minister Bowen was yet to announce who would conduct this review.
“We do not believe the Climate Change Authority in its current form can deliver this review. Of the current six members of the Authority, at least three have links to the fossil fuel industry. This creates at minimum a perception of a lack of independence.”
Dr Davis said it was also important that the review included representation of individuals with knowledge and credibility on climate and agriculture.
“Farmers who create carbon credits need to know their investment will not be undermined, and those who buy our credits need confidence that they represent real emissions reductions,” Dr Davis said.