Changes to the Carbon Farming Initiative
The legislative rules governing the Carbon Farming Initiative have changed. The Carbon Farming Initiative has been integrated with the Emissions Reduction Fund from 12 December 2014.
Content on this website will be progressively updated to reflect these changes. More information can be found on the Emissions Reduction Fund and other schemes page.
What is it?
The Carbon Farming Initiative is a voluntary scheme that aims to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere from activities on the land.
A number of activities are eligible under the scheme and individuals and entities taking part may be able to be issued Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).
One ACCU is issued for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) stored or captured by a project.
ACCUs issued under the Carbon Farming Initiative can be sold to people and businesses wishing to offset liability under the carbon pricing mechanism until 2 February 2015. ACCUs may continue to be sold after 2 February 2015 to people and businesses wishing to voluntarily offset their emissions.
Running a Carbon Farming Initiative project may offer other benefits. For example, shelter for livestock, increases in biodiversity, better air quality and electricity generation.
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How does it work?
Activities to store carbon or reduce greenhouse gas emissions are conducted as offsets projects in accordance with a methodology determination.
Methodology determinations set out the rules for conducting activities under the Carbon Farming Initiative to be issued with ACCUs.
There are a number of methodology determinations available for projects that either store – or sequester – carbon in vegetation, or help avoid emissions entering the atmosphere.
Before issuing ACCUs, the Clean Energy Regulator must approve an application for an eligible offsets project and be satisfied that the project is conducted according to the instructions in a methodology determination, the Carbon Farming Initiative Act 2011 and the Carbon Farming Initiative Regulations 2011.
This includes meeting all the requirements for monitoring and record keeping, reporting and audit.
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How to participate
There are five overarching steps to participating in the Carbon Farming Initiative starting with the initial step of becoming a recognised offsets entity through to the issue of Australian carbon credit units into a recognised offsets entity's account in the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU). ACCUs issued are published in the Register of Offsets Projects.
The type of project you choose will influence some of the requirements in each step.
You can also contact the Clean Energy Regulator if you are unsure whether your project is eligible.
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What is an Australian carbon credit unit?
ACCUs are a financial product under the Corporations Act 2001. They do not have an expiry date, and can be banked or sold for future use. An ACCU is transferable within Australia between accounts in the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units.
Each ACCU represents at least one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). Abatement from all types of activities, including those that reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions, can be measured in tonnes of (CO2-e). This standard allows ACCUs from different activities to be traded more easily.
For more information about the regulation of ACCUs as financial products, visit the ASIC website.
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Investing in the Carbon Farming Initiative
Investing in the Carbon Farming Initiative is an important business decision. Before investing, there is research that can be done to inform an assessment of the potential benefits and risks. Potential investors should consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice with particular reference to their own circumstances and requirements.
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Who to contact
If you want to apply or have questions about how it works
The Carbon Farming Initiative is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator. The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for approving participation in the Carbon Farming Initiative by individuals and entities; approving Carbon Farming Initiative projects; educating participants on how to comply with the Carbon Farming Initiative rules; and issuing, managing the holding, transfer, retirement, relinquishment and cancellation of Australian carbon credit units through the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units.
For further information contact the Clean Energy Regulator:
Phone: 1300 553 542
For other information about the Carbon Farming Initiative
The Department of the Environment
The Department of the Environment is responsible for developing the Carbon Farming Initiative policy, legislation and supporting regulations for the Carbon Farming Initiative; developing the rules (methodologies) for undertaking Carbon Farming Initiative projects and provides secretariat support to the independent Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, which assesses methodologies for use under the Carbon Farming Initiative.
For information contact the Department of the Environment:
Web: Department of the Environment website
Phone: 1800 057 590
The Department of Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry provides information and support to farmers, land managers and agricultural advisers about carbon farming and the benefits of creating land-based carbon credits by participating in the Carbon Farming Initiative. The department contributes to the development of Carbon Farming Initiative policy and the rules (methodologies) for undertaking Carbon Farming Initiative projects. It is also funding research and on-farm trials, through the Filling the Research Gap and Action on the Ground programs, which underpin the Carbon Farming Initiative.
For information contact the Department of Agriculture:
Web: Department of Agriculture website
Phone: 1800 156 858
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