Statement attributable to John Connor CEO, Carbon Market Institute
On Friday 5th November, a study commissioned by the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee into Human Induced Regeneration (HIR) was released, the results are here.
HIR is an Emission Reduction Fund (ERF)/Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) method which recognises land management changes and ongoing maintenance by changing grazing, feral management or more.
This peer reviewed study shows strong evidence of significant regrowth and carbon sequestration resulting from the HIR activities. The report presents analysis that projects established under the method have overall resulted in significant increases in woody forest cover in the arid and semi-arid regions of NSW and Queensland.
The peer review concludes: The data analysis is careful, and results are checked by being derived in two or more ways, and compared using external testing methods. We can have confidence in the robustness of the conclusions of the analysis in this report.
The analysis also highlights areas of significant gains and some under-performance for which it recommends further ground truthing and follow up.
CMI welcomes this report as part of an overall system of integrity in Australia’s carbon policy architecture, that should be recognised and built on. It is important to respond to external concerns and we look forward to continued transparency and engagement to ensure ERF/ACCU methods are delivering on their promise for the climate and for regional Australia.
Concerns have been raised about another method, Avoided Deforestation, in a report from The Australia Institute (TAI) and the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF). The CMI and its members believe that this report has significant deficiencies. Preliminary analysis has been shared with TAI/ACF, and is in the process of peer review, and will soon be shared more broadly.
Nature-based solutions, such as Avoided Deforestation and HIR can provide significant gains for the climate and regional Australia but do need to withstand scrutiny. This independent study into HIR is a solid report card on progress with areas of ongoing attention that should be addressed.
It remains CMI’s view that Australia’s carbon crediting and Safeguard Mechanism policy architecture remains sound, and should be a springboard for greater policy ambition that is required.
ERAC statement here, HIR study here, peer review report here.