The Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed recommendations in the Chubb review into Australia’s carbon credits scheme but has serious concerns about the lack of promise to critically address problems on the ground.
“ACF welcomes structural changes to the regulator and the inclusion of an integrity commission but the governance remains murky,” CEO Kelly O’Shanassy said.
“It is essential that the new integrity commission is fully independent and prohibits the appointment of people who have ties to the carbon credit industry.
“ACF welcomes the move to prohibit new credits under the deeply flawed ‘avoided deforestation’ method but further assessment of existing projects is needed.
“The carbon credits previously approved under this method, which is one in five credits issued under the Emission Reduction Fund, do not represent real abatement and are essentially junk credits.
“The Clean Energy Regulator should now commit to an audit of these projects which we fear are not producing real-world carbon abatement.
“It is essential that projects are assessed in real-life – not just on paper as per the Chubb review.
“If the Australian Government is serious about slashing carbon emissions, then it needs to critically address the problems on the ground.
“Carbon credits can play a small role in reducing Australia’s pollution but we can’t offset our way to net-zero.
“Offsets should only be used by hard to abate sectors after exhausting options to avoid, minimise, and mitigate emissions.
“The best way to slash emissions is to stop new coal and gas – not offset the pollution from these sectors - and prioritise a fast and fair transition to renewable energy.”