10 Take-Aways from RDA’s Emissions Reduction Roundtables


15-May-2015

10 Take-Aways from RDA’s Emissions Reduction Roundtables

On the week of the 11th of May Regional Development Australia ran a number of information sessions for businesses seeking further information on the Emissions Reduction Fund and how to get involved. These businesses were from industries as diverse as councils, transport, processing, wholesaling, hospitality and services, agriculture and recycling.

Attendees from business and industry had the chance to meet with and hear from carbon service agents and other service providers. These invited experts had a wealth of knowledge on ERF project development, legal, research, measurement and the many business decisions anyone considering developing a project needs to make along the way.

Here are our 10 key take-away points from the meetings:

Please Note: These points are not intended to be comprehensive or taken as advice; they are reflective of the opinions of those individuals present at the meetings, and have been provided for guidance purposes only.

  1. The Emissions Reduction Fund is the Australian Government’s mechanism for buying carbon credits, known as Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCU’s), to show that Australia as a country has reduced its emissions from 2000 levels by at least 5%.
  2. An ACCU is the equivalent of 1 tonne of CO₂ᵉ either sequestered (saved in trees or soil) or abated (stopped from entering the atmosphere from a change in business practice, like reducing diesel use). 1 tonne of CO₂ᵉ is the global standard currency for carbon trading.
  3. To get an idea of what 1 Tonne CO₂ᵉ looks like, some rough figures may be a 14cm tree, 300L Diesel burnt, (which also reduces fuel costs by approx.. $500) or 1200kW = cost $200 (at 16ᶜ per kW hour)
  4. In the first Auction there were over 50 successful projects in the Orana region, bringing approximately $300m into the region. You can read more about the results of round one here (http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ERF/Published-information/auction-results/auction-results-april-2015)
  5. These were mostly under a method related to avoided land clearing. A method is the rule-book that any emissions reductions project must abide by to be accepted (you can read more on methodologies here http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/emissions-reduction-fund/methods)
  6. To understand how methods work and may apply to your business it is advised that you engage the services of a Carbon Service Agent. These professional service providers can also assist in preparing and submitting a project to the auction, and managing the reporting you will have to do to measure your emissions reductions over the life of your contract.
  7. Businesses might choose to take ‘cross-methodology’ approach; there might be multiple opportunities to participate in the Fund in one business or on one site.
  8. There may be co-benefits to undertaking a project under the ERF. These include fuel or energy savings, increases to soil productivity or marketing advantages. These should be considered when determining the business case for participating in the fund.
  9. You must save a minimum of 2000 tonnes (earn 2000 credits) to qualify for the Emissions Reduction Fund. If you can’t make the minimum bid amount yourself, you might choose to enter into an aggregated project or bid, where a group of businesses join together to reach the appropriate scale.
  10. The ERF is not a grant. Participation in the ERF is a business decision. ACCUs should be treated as a potential commodity for businesses to generate and sell, so business should seek legal and financial advice when looking to enter into projects, consider how projects fit with or enhance their existing business practice and consider all potential risks involved.

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