THE National Farmers’ Federation has welcomed the findings from the review into Australia’s carbon credit framework but has highlighted concerns about missing farmer representation and support.
Earlier this week, the Hon Chris Bowen released the final report of the Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), with the Government accepting, in principle, all 16 recommendations by the panel, led by former Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb AC.
NFF President Fiona Simson said a high level of confidence and integrity within Australia’s carbon credit system was critical.
“We welcome the panel’s findings that the scheme is sound, the level of abatement is correct, and the policy is effectively reducing Australia’s emissions.
“Overall, the NFF broadly supports regular reviews into the scheme, along with changes to clarify governance and improve transparency. However, some concerns remain.
“We were clear that we need to establish a skills-based board to be involved in the governance of ACCUs. While this is in in some ways supported by the new Carbon Abatement Integrity Committee (CAIC), there is a lack of farm management experience,” Ms Simson said.
The NFF recommended a farmer representative be present on this Committee to help farmers and landholders engage with the consultation process. It also recommended independent and trusted advice be made available, for example through extension officers.
“None of these recommendations were in the review.
“However, we do support the appointment of four members to the CAIC, one being a First Nations Australian.
“We will seek clarification on what skills and experiences these four members will require and advocate that farm management experience be one of them.”
The NFF also has concerns about the Review’s recommendations on avoided deforestation and that no new project registrations will be allowed under the current method.
“This recommendation fails the NFF’s test about the importance of the review being a technical, not philosophical, assessment. The recommendation also leads the NFF to be concerned the current method will conclude without the replacement being discussed or understood.”