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Method variations

09 February 2021

Methodology determinations (or methods) lay out the rules for emissions reduction or carbon storage projects under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) in the form of legislative instruments. Section 114 of the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (the Act) allows for methods to be varied. This can be for a range of reasons, for example, to ensure methods continue to operate as originally intended, to allow additional activities to be undertaken under a method, or to account for technological advances that enable new measurement approaches.

The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for developing variations to ERF methods. All methods being varied or methods under review are published on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) website and our method consultation page.

How a method variation may affect an ERF project

  • If a method variation occurs after the crediting period for a project has started, the scheme participant may continue to use the original method that covered the project when it was registered as an ERF project. An exception to this occurs, for area-based projects only, when a scheme participant using the original method, wishes to include additional land in their project area or substitute their project area with another area of land. In this situation, the additional land cannot be included in the project area, or the project area cannot be substituted, unless the scheme participant first transfers their project to the varied method. Scheme participants must also demonstrate that other legislative requirements for adding land to the project area, or substituting the project area, are satisfied (section 23 of the Carbon Farming Initiative Rule).
  • If a project has a delayed start date for its crediting period, and a variation to the method the project is covered by occurs before the delayed start date, the project will automatically transfer to the varied method and the project must be run according to the varied method.
  • If a project application is currently under assessment and a method variation is made before the project is registered as an ERF project, it will be assessed against the varied method and the project must be run according to the varied method if registered.

documentasset:Method variation information pack

If a method is to be varied, the Clean Energy Regulator recommends that scheme participants make themselves familiar with the varied method as there may be benefits to transfer to the varied method including in the administration of the project by the Clean Energy Regulator.


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