Purpose of the Independent Review
An independent panel reviewed the integrity of the Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU) Scheme, formerly known as the Emissions Reduction Fund.
The independent panel was comprised of:
- Professor Ian Chubb AC (Chair)
- the Hon Dr Annabelle Bennett AC SC
- Ms Ariadne Gorring
- Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds.
The Review's purpose was to ensure ACCUs and the carbon crediting framework has a strong and credible reputation supported by participants, purchasers and the broader community.
The Panel examined governance arrangements and legislative requirements of the carbon crediting scheme. They also investigated the integrity of the key methods used, and other scheme settings affecting the integrity of ACCUs. It considered the broader impacts of carbon projects, including for agriculture, biodiversity, participation of First Nations people, and regional communities. The Panel also examined the requirements for use of ACCUs under Climate Active.
Independent Panel’s conclusions
The Panel concluded that the ACCU Scheme arrangements are essentially sound, incorporating mechanisms for regular review and improvement, and recommended several changes to clarify governance, improve transparency, facilitate positive project outcomes and co-benefits, and enhance confidence in the integrity and effectiveness of the scheme.
Government response and implementation of reforms
The Australian Government accepted all 16 recommendations of the Independent Review in principle and published an Implementation Plan setting out its planned timing and approach to implementing reforms.
Implementation is well underway. You can read about the government’s progress in implementing reforms.
Landfill gas technical working group
The government has established the Landfill Gas (LFG) Technical Working Group (TWG). This group will support implementing recommendation 10 of the Independent Review, which stated that:
- The baseline of LFG projects and crediting period extensions of existing projects should be adjusted during the lifespan of the project.
- Arrangements should be made for the early review and voluntary adjustment to the baseline of existing projects.
The TWG’s purpose is to:
- Advise government on the scientific improvements in landfill gas methane management.
- Advise government on the economic and regulatory context landfill gas projects operate in.
The government will use this information to determine how to revise current LFG method baselines. The government will then draft a paper outlining its proposal. If variations to existing method determinations are required, the government will also develop an exposure draft. The proposal will be considered by the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC).
The concept paper and exposure draft will then be released for public consultation. The government will consider public feedback and revise its proposal if necessary. The ERAC will then provide advice to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy on whether the method variation meets the Offsets Integrity Standards. The Minister will then decide on whether to make the new method or method variation.
The TWG has an advisory role and no decision-making authority. The following documents are available:
- A list of TWG members
- Summaries of meeting outcomes
- A forward agenda. The forward agenda will be updated from time to time.
Independent Panel consultation and advice
The Panel consulted widely during the review. The consultation paper and public submissions are available on our consultation hub.
The Panel also sought independent analysis and advice to inform its consideration of the integrity of the human induced regeneration, avoided deforestation, landfill gas, and carbon capture and storage methods. It commissioned the Australian Academy of Science to provide a rapid assessment of these methods.
The report, along with public submissions and stakeholder meetings, were key contributions to the Panel’s considerations.
Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units: Final Report
- Professor Chubb’s submission to the Senate Inquiry to the Safeguard Mechanism (Crediting) Amendment Bill 2022 - Provisions
- Professor Chubb’s submission to the Senate Inquiry to the Safeguard Mechanism (Crediting) Amendment Bill 2022 - Attachment 1
- Australian Academy of Science Review of four methods for generating Australian Carbon Credit Units October 2022
- Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units Terms of Reference
- Minister’s announcement of Panel members
- Read about the Panel members
- Panel member's media release on the Review
- ACCU Scheme
- Powering Australia