CMI started July with a special symposium recognising the tenth anniversary of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism. Carbon policy and investment veterans highlighted that although the central pricing mechanism did not survive, there are now substantial institutions, experience and even carbon credit liquidity to support the next reform chapter.

July has also seen sobering reminders of the scale of the twin climate and biodiversity crises with ongoing climate impacts here and abroad, not least with the release of the State of the Environment Report. We also saw re-affirmation at the Pacific Island Forum by Australia and other Pacific leaders of the climate emergency and the need for COP27 in November to deliver progress on scaling ambition and climate finance.

This month has seen the Government begin to implement its reform agenda. Legislating for the 43% 2030 and net-zero 2050 targets is welcome, as is the requirement for institutions and initiatives to be better aligned to those goals and for greater government accountability.

Processes around a stronger 2035 target are also important, but driving the necessary scale required will need to be supported by other policies that guide and drive decarbonisation investments in the short to medium term. Safeguard Mechanism reforms, with a Government consultation paper imminent, will be a crucial focus in coming months for existing and new industrial facilities.

July also saw the announcement of the full Chubb ACCU review panel and the release of the draft core carbon principles by the Integrity Council on Voluntary Carbon Markets, which also focuses on the “supply” side of carbon credits. International focus continues on the “demand” corporate claims side through the Voluntary Carbon Market Integrity Initiative, the UN High Level Taskforce, as well as the establishment of governing architecture for the implementation of Article 6.

All of this activity, including progress on domestic greenwashing and accounting standards, underscores the generational opportunity and challenge before us to establish investable, credible and durable carbon markets. It is important this drives robust corporate decarbonisation investments, while recognising interim efforts to neutralise or make good for current emissions with carbon and other co-benefits.

CMI will be responding to all of the above and please assist in sharing our new role of Director, Integrity and Compliance to your networks. These subjects and more will be the focus of the “Urgency, Integrity, Ambition” program at our 9th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit so make sure you register now.

I also want to join others in expressing my sadness at the sudden passing of Mr W Rioli of Tiwi Resources and founding director of the Indigenous Carbon Industry Network. Mr Rioli was a true industry pioneer and participant in CMI events. Sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues (see ICIN note below).

Finally, this update trials a new polling tool with which we begin with a question on 2035 ambition – a key focus of Australia’s next NDC to be shared in 2025. This new target will of course require significant investment, but we’d also like to hear of your ambition now!

John Connor
Carbon Market Institute

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