THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
REVIEW OF THE NATIONAL CARBON OFFSET STANDARD
The Government today published a public consultation paper on updates to the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
The Government introduced the NCOS on 1 July 2010 to ensure national consistency and consumer confidence in the voluntary carbon market. The standard provides guidance on what is a genuine voluntary offset and sets minimum requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation or product to achieve carbon neutrality.
The NCOS program allows Australian businesses to market carbon neutral products and services, deliver greenhouse gas abatement and give Australian consumers greater purchasing choice, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus said.
As part of the review, the Government is considering some key changes to the list of eligible offsets. This will align the NCOS with the legislative framework for the Carbon Farming Initiative and increase the availability of domestic offsets that can be used under the Standard.
The revisions will ensure Australian businesses seeking to offset their carbon pollution can use credits issued under the Carbon Farming Initiative.
Many companies who were certified under the Greenhouse Friendly initiative are now certified under, or are undertaking the transition to the NCOS. The Government will cancel Kyoto units for Greenhouse Friendly abatement achieved during the Kyoto Protocol commitment period, enabling some credits from the former Greenhouse Friendly program to be eligible offsets, Mr Dreyfus said.
Purchases of accredited GreenPowerTM from 1 January 2010 will also be recognised as an eligible offset, honouring the Governments commitment to treat GreenPowerTM as voluntary action.
The Government will undertake consultations with key stakeholders in coming weeks on the reforms. Written submissions close on Wednesday 12 October 2011.
To comment on the discussion paper and revised Standard visit: www.climatechange.gov.au.
TUESDAY, 30 AUGUST 2011