Audit finds carbon regulator to be “largely effective”

Beef Central, 01/05/2024

AN independent audit of Australia’s carbon farming regulator has found the processes for issuing carbon credits and creating carbon farming methodologies are “largely effective”.

The Clean Energy Regulator has received plenty of criticism in recent times, with some raising concerns about a lack of transparency and integrity in the issuance of carbon credits.

In response the Auditor General was commissioned to look into the regulator and its processes used to generate Australian Carbon Credit Units.

“Administration of the issuing, compliance and contracting of ACCUs was largely effective,” the report said.

“The CER’s ACCU issuing, compliance and contracting activities are consistent with the CFI Act and Australian Government frameworks. There are opportunities to address weaknesses in the information systems used to administer the ACCU scheme as well as further improve monitoring and reporting related to compliance and conflict-of-interest declarations.”

The only recommendation the report made was directed towards the Federal Department of Climate Change and Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee, which looks at the development of new carbon farming methodologies.

It recommended the department improves its record keeping practices and implements procedures to notify the minister of any conflicts members of ERAC may have. A recommendation the department has accepted.

“The department takes its governance obligations including management of conflicts of interest very seriously and is committed to continuous improvement in its systems and processes to ensure decisions are consistent with all legislative requirements,” the department said in a statement.

“The department agrees with the ANAO’s recommendation. The department considers implementation of the recommendation, which has already commenced, will improve its current processes and support effective management of the ACCU Scheme and other future programs.”

The auditor general’s report is the second to have largely supported the CER processes, with a review headed up by former Chief Scientist Ian Chubb making similar findings.

The Chubb-review made a series of recommendations relating to the transparency of the scheme and splitting up some of the departments responsible for governing the scheme – with the Government and carbon industry working through implementing its recommendations.

The departments involved are set for a busy year ahead as the carbon industry waits for the implementation of some new methodologies to replace some of the old ones that have ceased to exist in the past year.









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  1. Peter Dunn, 01/05/2024

    Once again, Caesar is judging Caesar.
    If the Chubb review found that CCU issuing processes and carbon farming methodologies were “largely effective”, why was a second review by the Auditor General commissioned?
    Clearly, Government nervousness about the volume of criticism of the former, as being what instigated the latter, is a reasonable consideration.
    At the centre of this far from stable contest of ideological and scientific beliefs, is the Government decision to shift the focus away from traditional tree/pasture carbon capture to soil carbon retention, and the related war that is currently being waged about several different soil carbon issues. Comments about Government transparency on the shift to soil are very relevant, but what is causing the nervousness is the deliverability of the thousands of contracts for CCU’s, based on what now appears to be contested/debunked science. For example, are those contracts relating to the growth of existing trees now jeopardised, and if so, where does that leave the buyers and the sellers?

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