Emissions Reduction Fund must play supporting role to industrial decarbonisation policy, not as primary driver of emissions reduction; Australian Carbon Credit Units issued under the scheme represent 2% of emissions to date: CMI Institute

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Australia , May 5, 2022 (press release) –

Following media debate today on the role the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) within Australia’s climate policy, the Carbon Market Institute (CMI) has re-iterated its long-held position that the scheme must play a supporting role to urgent and scaled up industrial decarbonisation policy, not as the primary driver of emissions reduction.

CMI has made consistent calls for a strengthened Safeguard Mechanism responsibilities on large emitters and believes the policy should act as the primary driver of investment in emission reductions and removals (via declining baselines). This is a view supported by its members, with 79% of business calling for a strengthened the Safeguard Mechanism, and for mandatory baselines to be set to reduce over time in line with the trajectory of Australia’s 2030 emissions reduction target.

Alongside this, CMI believes the ERF has an important supporting role to play in driving real world investment into climate solutions, but acknowledges that Australian Carbon Credits Units (ACCUs) issued under the scheme still represent just 2% of Australia’s emissions to-date and must be better linked to the required scale and urgency of industrial decarbonisation policies.

As CMI’s recent Carbon Farming Scorecard results underlined and recent scrutiny has highlighted, the integrity of the scheme requires ongoing review and improvement, and CMI has recently welcomed calls for any independent review process to investigate and address these claims.

CMI’s Advocacy Policy Positions Statement is also updated regularly, and includes a number of other policy recommendations to facilitate a ‘just’ but urgent transition that looks to address our twin biodiversity and climate crises. These are based on CMI’s vision, mission and constitutional objectives as well as the Board’s assessment of the market’s best interests, and do not necessarily represent the views of all members.

In response to specific claims made in the report about its relationship with government and governance procedures, CMI CEO John Connor said:

“We are disappointed by these claims, which misrepresent our constitution and purpose as an organisation. CMI is not an umbrella group making decisions by consensus, but an independent industry association that drives best practice, focused on investment in decarbonisation, emissions reduction and removals to reach and surpass climate goals.”

“CMI’s mission has always been to build a robust industry in what is still an emerging market, and this has required us to work closely with governments to drive investment in emission reduction and removals. At the same time, we acknowledge it is not perfect and have also been clear and consistent in our criticism of government decisions that don’t support this mission.”

About the Carbon Market Institute
The Carbon Market Institute is the independent industry association for business leading the transition to net zero emissions. Its over 130 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous corporations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries developing decarbonisation and offset strategies.

If you have questions or require further information, please contact Thomas Hann on 0408 880 536 or via email: thomas.hann@carbonmarketinstitute.org

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