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Media release: Developing an Australian carbon exchange

28 April 2021

The Clean Energy Regulator has today called for expressions of interest to accelerate the emergence of an online exchange traded market for emissions offsets, in effect an Australian carbon exchange.

The carbon exchange will complement the current ‘over the counter’ market, making the trading of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) simpler. This will support the rapidly increasing voluntary demand from the corporate sector.

David Parker, Chair, Clean Energy Regulator, said the new exchange will provide significant benefits for business.

“These benefits include increasing market transparency including pricing, slashing transaction costs and reducing red tape, while accelerating emissions reduction and providing a boost to Australia’s economic recovery,” Mr Parker said.

“As reported in the Clean Energy Regulator’s Quarterly Carbon Market Report Quarter 4 2020, a record 16 million tonnes of emissions reductions were credited under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) during 2020. Supply is expected to reach over 17 million ACCUs in 2021.

“This makes the ERF one of largest and most robust offset schemes in the world,” Mr Parker said.

Facilitating a carbon exchange is one component of a portfolio of initiatives being undertaken by the Australian Government aimed at ‘streamlining voluntary private sector action to support emissions reductions’ – one of the deregulation measures announced as part of the 2020 Budget.

“This initiative is to support the growing appetite across the private sector, government and the community to voluntarily reduce emissions,” Mr Parker said.

Another of the deregulation measures will see the Clean Energy Regulator halving the time taken to develop new ERF methods and reducing the time it takes to assess applications for registering new ERF projects and issuing ACCUs. This will lead to increased and faster supply of ACCUs to meet rapidly increasing demand.

It is estimated by 2030, these actions will save business up to $100 million in transaction costs associated with trading ACCUs.

For further information, go to AusTender – Australian carbon exchange requirements – Tender number: CER-006121. The expression of interest will close at 2pm AEST on Friday 11 June 2021.


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