The Business Council of Australia welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s ACCU Review Discussion Paper.
International and domestics markets for carbon offsets have a critical supporting role to play within a holistic climate policy approach to reducing emissions and addressing climate change.
In 2022 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that the deployment of carbon dioxide removals (offsets) to counterbalance hard to abate residual emissions is unavoidable if net zero emissions are to be achieved.
In the domestic context, Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) have a vital role to play in the achievement of our nationally determined contributions.
Recent reviews of ACCU Scheme arrangements attest to it being built on “globally recognised emissions measurement and reporting systems” and being “successful in activating low-cost abatement.”
The most recent review led by Professor Ian Chubb concluded that, while there was room for improvement, ACCU scheme arrangements “are essentially sound, incorporating mechanisms for regular review and improvement.”
The BCA is broadly supportive of the Chubb review panel’s recommendations for improvement and the government’s implementation plan for giving effect to these recommendations as soon as practicable.
We make the following key points in this submission:
- The incorporation of Principles into the scheme’s legislative framework needs to be accompanied by a clear, transparent and certain process for their application to method development.
- Information required from ACCU market participants needs to balance the need for transparency of information with the need to protect of commercially sensitive information.
- The Government’s evolving role as a buyer of ACCUs needs to be clear and transparent in terms of its objectives and benefits, and particularly where the least cost criterion becomes less important.
- We support a proponent-led approach capable of promoting innovation and a greater uptake of methods and identify some key considerations for ensuring these outcomes.