In applying to participate under the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) there are seven key steps which you will need to consider, as outlined below. Follow the steps to go through the process to apply and participate.
Participation is open to individuals, sole traders, businesses, local, state and territory government bodies and trusts. Complete the Application for Recognition as an Offsets Entity form (PDF) or for body corporates, complete the application to open an account as a non-individual in the Australian National Registry of Emission Units and become a recognised offsets entity under the Carbon Farming Initiative form. This step is to preserve the scheme's integrity by ensuring that Recognised Offsets Entities are fit and proper persons. Australian carbon credit units will be issued into the proponent's Registry account. It is recommended applicants read the relevant ROE Application Guide before completing either form.
Projects can avoid greenhouse emissions or store carbon on the land. To apply complete the relevant form found under 'Step 2: Apply for a project' on the forms and calculators page. The proponent must be responsible for carrying out the project, have the legal right to carry out the project, and be a recognised offsets entity. In addition, the project must be covered by a methodology determination and be carried out in Australia. The project area must not be required by law or be used to meet a legal obligation to offset or compensate for the adverse impact of an action on vegetation. For projects that store carbon, the project proponent must also hold the applicable carbon sequestration right, have the consent of others with an eligible interest in the land and agree to store the carbon in the project area for 100 years.
Once the project has been declared eligible the project proponent undertakes the project according to the applicable methodology determination.
A project proponent can choose when to report (and apply for credits) as long as the first report is within one to five years of the project being declared eligible; then every one to five years. The offsets report must be accompanied by an audit of the project. This audit is paid for by the project proponent and must be conducted by a National Greenhouse and Energy Auditor. Complete the Certificate of Entitlement application including Offsets Report form (PDF). This one form covers steps 4 and 5.
Applications for Australian carbon credit units are made at the same time as a project proponent submits their offsets and audit reports, using the Certificate of Entitlement application including Offsets Report form.
The Clean Energy Regulator will assess applications for a Certificate of Entitlement and, if satisfied that a number of conditions are met, a Certificate of Entitlement will be issued to the project proponent advising them of the number and type of Australian carbon credit units that the offsets project is entitled to receive for the reporting period. The Australian carbon credit units will be issued into the proponent's specified Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (Registry) account.
Project closure occurs when the project's intended activities and timeframe are completed. As participating in the Carbon Farming Initiative is voluntary, a project proponent can choose to withdraw from the Carbon Farming Initiative by notifying the Clean Energy Regulator at any time. Requirements for withdrawing, if the project is a sequestration offsets project, include that all Australian carbon credit units issued (or an equivalent number of Australian carbon credit units from other sources) are handed back to the Clean Energy Regulator.