Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct now fully operational

Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct

The Carbon Market Institute, independent industry association, has announced Australia’s world-first Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct is now fully operational. 

The world-first, climate-related consumer protection code of conduct will commit Australia’s carbon industry to higher standards of integrity, transparency and accountability.  

“This is a vital step in growing a high integrity Australian carbon reduction and sequestration industry that farmers, consumers and investors can rely on,” Carbon Market Institute CEO John Connor said. 

“It’s an important world-first, building on an already respected framework of government assurance.” 

The Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct will investigate consumer complaints, monitor and audit signatories’ activities and enforce action against those that deliberately mislead or disadvantage community clients. 

Code signatories include carbon service providers who, on conservative estimates, represent almost half of all carbon credits issued under the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. They will be significant participants in state-based contracting, such as Queensland’s Land Restoration Fund.  

Code signatories also include intermediary brokerage, legal and advisory service providers. Many signatories engage with independent landowners, farmers, pastoralists and Indigenous stakeholders in their business activities.  

Under the Code, these carbon businesses have committed to following ethical processes, does not jeopardise stakeholders’ rights and enhances the industry’s reputation.  

The inaugural Code Review Panel, an independent body acting as arbitrator of Code compliance and appeals processes, has appointed three new members: 

  • Former Clean Energy Regulator board member Virginia Malley 
  • Regulatory and finance expert Kim Lawrence 
  • Regulatory and finance expert Ross Carter. 

The NSW government has joined the Queensland government as formal government partner, endorsing the Code as a critical third-party assurance framework for developing state carbon markets. 

“We are excited to be the second government partner supporting this important market-shaping Code,” NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment director for Climate Resilience, Adaptation and Net Zero Emissions Esther Bailey said. 

“Strong and credible carbon markets will be vital to meeting the decarbonisation challenge and tools like the Code will help us get there.”  

“The Code has now reached a critical milestone of maturity and with growing support from governments and industry partners, this framework is now an important foundation of Australia’s climate response,” Connor said. 

The Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct aims to increase carbon abatement quality across the country and ensure projects deliver positive outcomes to local employment, stakeholders involved and the environment. 

“Considering the scale and extent of climate action required to limit global warming to 1.5C, carbon projects remain a critical climate solution,” Connor said. 

“As this industry grows, the Code will play a role in ensuring that local communities, Indigenous stakeholders and farmers can make informed decisions, are engaged in a meaningful way and that appropriate benefit-sharing takes place.  

“The Code also provides a layer of consumer protection to other market participants, providing an additional level of risk assurance to the large and multinational corporates that are increasingly purchasing carbon credits,” he said.  

“In addition, the Code seeks to integrate climate repair with land and history repair – so that carbon projects contribute to healthy, resilient and pragmatic benefits to Indigenous communities that respect their native title rights.  

“We look forward to working with our expanding cohort of signatories in the coming months and raising the integrity and reputation of the industry to match the rate of growth of private and public sector investment in climate action right across the country,” Connor said. 

“We also look forward to engaging with our government partners and industry supporters to ensure our carbon industry can continue to contribute to Australia’s emissions targets at the highest levels of integrity, transparency and accountability possible.” 

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