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Climate Solutions Fund > How it works > Being a project proponent – information for landholders

Being a project proponent – information for landholders

Are you a landholder and considering running a carbon abatement project under the Climate Solutions Fund? Before you apply, you will need to decide who the project proponent will be.

What is a project proponent?

A project proponent can be a single person, multiple people or an organisation who is legally responsible for running a Climate Solutions Fund project. This means they will will hold the legal right to the project and will be issued the carbon credits created from the project activities.

Can I be the project proponent?

Yes. If you decide to be the project proponent, you will be assessed by the Clean Energy Regulator to determine that you have the capability, capacity and good character to run the project and comply with the requirements. You will also need to:

  • demonstrate that you have the legal right to undertake the project and claim the carbon credits
  • open an Australian National Registry of Emissions Units (ANREU) account so that you can receive and transfer carbon credits for the carbon abatement you achieve through your project, and
  • be accountable to the Clean Energy Regulator for all reporting and compliance requirements throughout the life of your project.

Engaging an agent

If you want to remain the project proponent but do not think you have the technical expertise or administrative resources to manage your project, you can engage an agent.

Agents act on behalf of project proponents according to the terms of the agency agreement you enter into, for example by providing reports on projects, submitting applications for carbon credits and generally dealing with the Clean Energy Regulator on your behalf. You must authorise an agent to act on your behalf in an arrangement similar to tax agents.

However, if you engage an agent, you, not your agent, are still legally accountable to the Clean Energy Regulator for carrying out the project and meeting all obligations. You also retain ultimate control of the project and are issued carbon credits into your ANREU account. If engaging an agent to assist you, we recommend you obtain legal advice before signing any agreement.

Can I give someone else the right to be the project proponent?

Yes. If you do not want to be the project proponent yourself, you can choose to assign the right to someone else. This means they will have the legal right to run the project and can claim the carbon credits for a project on your property. They are responsible for carrying out the project and meeting all obligations under the Climate Solutions Fund.

You can engage a carbon service provider to be the project proponent. Carbon service providers are private businesses or organisations, independent of government, that offer a range of services in developing and running carbon abatement projects. They may also be called aggregators or project developers.

It’s important to note that engaging a carbon service provider occurs via a private or commercial agreement that outlines how roles, responsibilities, obligations, risks and benefits are shared. The Clean Energy Regulator is not responsible for the terms of any private agreements or for their enforcement.

Only the project proponent can make changes to a project. However, there are some circumstances where projects may transfer to another person who has the legal right to carry out the project. More information on making changes to your project can be found on our website.

If legal right is given to a carbon servicer provider, the Clean Energy Regulator’s legal relationship is with the carbon service provider as the project proponent, not with the land or site owner on which the project is carried out. You should seek professional legal and financial advice before entering into an agreement with a carbon service provider.

Other considerations

Regardless of whether you are the project proponent, or you appoint a carbon service provider, your project will need consents from any eligible interest holders before any carbon credits can be issued. If your project is one that stores carbon in vegetation or soils, you also need to ensure you maintain your permanence obligations.

More information

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has an informative fact sheet on Working with carbon service providers in the Emissions Reduction Fund and the Carbon Market Institute has a voluntary Code of Conduct which sets out best practice for service providers and working with a signatory may provide some assurance when selecting service providers.

Factsheet: Being a Climate Solutions Fund project proponent – information for landholders

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