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Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee

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23 August 2021
ERF

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The Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC) is an independent statutory committee established under the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (the Act).

Role of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee

The ERAC assess the compliance of methodology determinations (methods) against the Offsets Integrity Standards to ensure the continued integrity of the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The ERAC:

  • assesses methods to ensure they comply with the Offsets Integrity Standards set out in the Act
  • advises the Minister on whether to make, vary or revoke methods based on their assessment of their compliance with the Offsets Integrity Standards
  • undertake periodic reviews and crediting period extension reviews of methods
  • considers feedback from public consultation on methods
  • undertakes public consultation on periodic and crediting period extension reviews
  • advises the Minister and the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources on the outcomes of reviews and method assessments.

Advice provided to the Minister by the ERAC is published on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources' website and the Clean Energy Regulator’s method consultation page.

Offsets Integrity Standards

The Offsets Integrity Standards are the legislated criteria that all methods under the Emissions Reduction Fund must meet to ensure carbon credits issued under methods represent real emissions reductions that may be counted towards meeting Australia’s emissions reduction obligations.

The ERAC has developed an information paper to provide information on how the committee interprets the Offsets Integrity Standards. This paper is not a legal instrument and will be updated from time to time to explain new considerations relating to the interpretation of the standards.

documentasset:Information Paper on the Offsets Integrity Standards 

Reviews of methods

The ERAC conducts 2 types of method reviews.

  1. Periodic method reviews:
    • Finalised methods are reviewed by the ERAC to examine whether the method is still compliant with the Offsets Integrity Standards. A risk-based framework is used to determine when a method review needs to be undertaken.
  2. Crediting period extension reviews:
    • Projects have crediting periods set out in their respective method. The ERAC considers whether a method should have its crediting period extended, based on whether the projects registered under the method are still achieving a carbon abatement that is unlikely to happen in the ordinary course of events. Crediting periods can only be extended once.

All reviews have a period of public consultation. ERAC considers submissions and advises the Minister on the outcome of their reviews. If the review recommends changes to a method, a method variation may be undertaken, and the changes will be:

  • drafted by the Clean Energy Regulator
  • assessed by the ERAC
  • subject to further public consultation.

The Clean Energy Regulator supports the ERAC to undertake public consultation. See previous consultations and reviews on the Department’s Consultation Hub.

Projects can still be registered with the Clean Energy Regulator while a method is under review unless the ERAC has issued a legislative instrument under section 27A of the Act suspending applications under the method.

Visit method reviews for information on recent reviews.

Membership

  • David Byers (Chair)
  • Alex McBratney
  • Mick Keogh
  • Helen Bennett (Departmental Representative)
  • Margie Thomson
  • Allison Hortle (CSIRO Representative)
  • Brian Fisher

Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee Secretariat

The ERAC Secretariat provides support to the ERAC to perform its functions and is the primary point of contact for the ERAC.

Contact us

Email ERAC@cleanenergyregulator.gov.au.



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