In response to claims by Energy Minister Angus Taylor that the Australian Conservation Foundation is “backing away” from Professor Andrew Macintosh’s revelations about the inadequacies of Australia’s carbon credit scheme, ACF Chief Executive Officer Kelly O’Shanassy said:
“Today the Australian Conservation Foundation reaffirms its concerns about significant flaws in Australia’s carbon offsets scheme and calls for an independent review of the scheme.
“We share Professor Andrew Macintosh’s concerns.
“Any speech given by the Energy Minister that claims otherwise is incorrect.
“Our own investigations are consistent with Professor Macintosh’s revelations about the scheme’s deep flaws.
“We found one in five carbon credits issued by the Federal Government’s $4.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund do not represent real abatement.
“Our investigation revealed people and companies getting credits for not clearing forests that were never going to be cleared and for projects that were financially viable and would have gone ahead anyway.
“Professor Macintosh’s reports back our finding and show the proportion of ineffective credits is as much as 70 to 80% of all carbon credits.
“The present system is not producing credible, additional abatement.
“The avoided deforestation, human-induced regeneration and land-filled methods—which make up the majority of all Australian carbon credits—are deeply flawed.
“We have raised our concerns with the Clean Energy Regulator but have been ignored and criticised, even when we have shared our methodology with the regulator beforehand.
“Protecting and regenerating nature is an important climate solution, but the carbon market and the Emissions Reduction Fund must be reformed to produce real climate benefits.
“It’s time for an independent review of Australia’s carbon credit scheme.”
Read the report by ACF and the Australia Institute: Questionable integrity: Non-additionality in the Emissions Reduction Fund’s avoided deforestation method