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Australian Carbon Exchange

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13 September 2021

The Australian Carbon Exchange will operate in a similar way to online stock exchanges, but in the purchase, clearing and settlement of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) and potentially other types of carbon units and certificates.

Development of an online carbon exchange will support Australian industry by increasing market transparency including pricing, lowering transaction costs and reducing red tape. It will also accelerate emissions reduction and provide a boost Australia’s economy.

The exchange will make the trading of ACCUs simpler, supporting rapidly increasing demand from the corporate sector. It will help foster the growth in Australia’s vibrant carbon markets, where ACCUs credited from approved Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) projects can be traded among individuals and businesses.

The proposed exchange market will make a significant contribution toward the government’s aim in “Streamlining private sector action to support emissions reductions”, a deregulation measure announced in the 2020 Federal Budget. One of these deregulation measures will see the Clean Energy Regulator halving the time taken to develop new ERF methods and reducing the time it takes to assess applications for registering new ERF projects and issuing ACCUs. This will lead to increased and faster supply of ACCUs.

Facilitating a carbon exchange and increasing the supply of ACCUs will support businesses and governments in delivering against their voluntary emission reduction commitments at the lowest possible cost. It is estimated that by 2030, the exchange will save business up to $100 million in transaction costs associated with trading ACCUs.

Its development also responds to a key recommendation in the King Review that promotes initiatives that encourage additional sources of low-cost abatement.

For further information, watch the industry briefing on Expressions of interest for an Australian carbon exchange - YouTube we delivered on Tuesday 11 May 2021.

Project timeline

The Australian carbon exchange will be developed over a three-year project timeline.

The timeframes outlined are indicative only and may change subject to the outcomes of each stage of the procurement process. We will update this webpage as firmer dates become available throughout the process.

Expressions of interest received

The Clean Energy Regulator’s call for expressions of interest to accelerate the emergence of an exchange traded market for emissions offsets, closed at 2pm AEST Sunday 20 June 2021.

Successful respondents selected

The Clean Energy Regulator has assessed responses to the expressions of interest. Respondents have been notified on the outcome, with an invitation to participate in the procurement stage - Request for Proposals - sent to a shortlist of 13 parties.

A shortlist of 13 companies have been invited to participate in the Request for Proposal:

  • 2 for Part A (the provision of exchange trading and related market services)
  • 6 for Part B (provision of registry related services)
  • 5 parties for both Parts A and B.

This effectively means there could be 7 tenders for the provision of exchange trading and related market services and 11 tenders for registry related services.

Request for Proposal period

Between quarter 4 2021 and quarter 1 2022.

Evaluation of Request for Proposal tenders

Quarter 1 2022.

Decision on preferred party or parties to contract with

Between quarter 1 and quarter 2 2022.

Contract negotiations

Quarter 2 2022.

System build and integration


Launch of the Australian Carbon Exchange

It is difficult to predict the timeframes. The launch date for the exchange will depend on the responses to the Request for Proposal. However, at this stage, the Clean Energy Regulator anticipates it will be sometime in 2023.

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