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How does it work

14 July 2023

Do you want to diversify your income? Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint? Are you looking to participate in Australia’s carbon market?

Register a project

Whether you're a farmer, landholder, business, state government or local council, you can participate in the ACCU Scheme (formerly known as the Emissions Reduction Fund). The first step is to register your project with us via the Client Portal.

Visit Planning a project to learn more about the process before you apply.

Run a project and earn Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs)

By running a project, you can earn ACCUs for emissions avoidance or storage of carbon dioxide in vegetation and soil.

Each ACCU represents one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) greenhouse gas emissions stored or avoided. Emission avoidance projects can earn ACCUs for up to 7 years. Savanna fire management projects and those that store carbon dioxide can earn ACCUs for up to 25 years.

Visit our projects register to see the types of projects already being carried out across the country.

Participate in an auction

Changes to auctions

As part of the implementation of the Independent Review of ACCUs, the Australian Government will consult with stakeholders on the purpose and role of the Australian Government purchasing of ACCUs. This will help inform who is the best-placed entity to host the ACCU purchasing function (recommendation 3.3). Read more about the Independent Review of ACCUs on the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water’s website.

Auctions provide you with the opportunity to bid for a carbon abatement contract, which provides you the option but not the obligation, to sell ACCUs to the Commonwealth.

The ability to sell ACCUs at a set price provides you with price security while still providing the potential for more lucrative prices to be secured from private buyers.

If you are interested in participating in an auction, see more information on Participating in an auction.

Selling and purchasing ACCUs

You can sell ACCUs to other purchasers including businesses and state governments through a fixed commercial agreement or on the spot market at the prevailing market price.

Businesses or other purchasers looking to source ACCUs to offset their emissions or meet emission reduction targets can:

See Buying ACCUs for more information.

Invest in carbon markets

If you're an investor or other business wanting to participate in carbon markets, find out more information about the markets and read our latest market reports.

See Quarterly Carbon Market Reports for more information.

Co-benefits from projects

In addition to reducing emissions and earning ACCUs, ACCU Scheme projects can provide a range of other direct benefits, called co-benefits. Co-benefits can include environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits for farmers, businesses, landholders, First Nations people and communities.

Examples of co-benefits can include:

  • improving water quality, reducing soil erosion and reducing salinity through revegetation activities
  • improving farm resilience and sustainability through increased diversity of land-use activities
  • improving the productivity of farms by replenishing the carbon content of soils
  • valuing traditional knowledge on fire management and providing an economic opportunity for indigenous communities while reducing late season wildfire damage in savanna areas
  • increasing biodiversity and providing increased habitat for native species
  • lowering the emissions profile and reducing energy costs by increasing energy efficiency for Australian businesses.

See Purchasing carbon ACCUs with co-benefits for more information.

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