Day 1 of the Carbon Market Institute’s 9th annual Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit heard from international and domestic climate leaders supporting urgency, integrity and ambition on carbon markets and investment.

Key elements from the day’s sessions included:

  • NSW Treasurer Matt Kean announced new funding for industrial and land sector decarbonisation, including a $360 million New Low Carbon Industry Foundation investment plan to accelerate emissions reduction in its most carbon intensive industries, as well as $10 Million in new funding for carbon abatement projects across the state.
  • A packed-out session explored the future of the Safeguard Mechanism.
  • The new ASIC, ACCC and Clean Energy Regulator “coalition against greenwashing” highlighted the importance of due diligence and supporting evidence for claims.
  • International carbon market experts discussed the growing convergence of voluntary and compliance carbon markets and key elements to be discussed at COP27
  • An impassioned plea for recognition of Indigenous rights, opportunities and proper consultation in carbon and biodiversity markets.

“Over 1000 delegates in person or online have participated in an extremely active day of discussions and examination of future trends for carbon markets and climate investment,” said John Connor, CMI CEO.

“While there is considerable flux in international and domestic carbon policy, as well as challenges on integrity, there was as a strong sense of optimism at the Summit alongside key reminders of the responsibilities to ensure inclusion of local communities and respect for Indigenous rights and interests.”

“We welcome the NSW Treasurers additional decarbonisation funding commitments as well as his call for business leadership noting “the world will not wait for us to get our act together on climate. The opportunities will not wait either’. Minister Kean has been a passionate leader and continues to galvanise the national debate in the transition to net-zero emissions.”

Today’s program will unpack the detail of tonight’s Federal Budget, with ANZ Chief Economist Richard Yetsenga, hosting a dedicated wrap session, followed by a Ross Garnaut keynote exploring Australia’s potential as a clean energy superpower.

Speaker highlights & quotes

Hon. Matt Kean MP, Treasurer, Government of New South Wales (speech available)

“I’m pleased to announce we will launch Round 1 of our high impact partnerships funding before Christmas. $10 million worth of funding will be co-invested in partnership with organisations who are active in the land sector and share the Government’s commitment to action on climate change.”

“The $380 million High Emitting Industries program will open later this year to support hard-to-abate industrial facilities to undertake major capital upgrades of plant and equipment to reduce significant emissions.”

“Taken together, these programs will invest more than one billion dollars to accelerate clean technology and industrial decarbonisation to grow the economy, support jobs and cut emissions.”

Catherine McKenna, Chair, UN Secretary General’s High-Level Expert Group on Net-Zero Commitments

“Anyone who’s been in government and had to deliver on a climate plan knows setting your target is the easy part, is actually delivering on it that’s hard.”

“There’s a real opportunity to have an ambition loop where you have the non-state actors supporting more ambition by government and that really makes it a lot easier for government. One, to have good policy but also to be able to have the support that it needs to enact it.”

Cissy Gore, Co-Chair, Indigenous Carbon Industry Network

“Through savanna [burning] projects, we generate approximately $59m a year. This funds community projects, further fire management activities, and creates meaningful jobs for our people.”

“We are now in this space of climate change impacting on our Country with great intensity each year… we wish to remind you that we have always been here, and we will continue be here. We ask that you take the time to listen to us and to work together with us so that the opportunity for Indigenous people to take the lead in healing and caring for our country can be realised.”

Tennant Reed, Head of Climate, Energy and Environment Policy, Ai Group

“We tend to over-estimate business as usual, and over-estimate the difficulty of abatement [under the Safeguard Mechanism]. I expect we’re going to have plenty of arguments over the years over the baselines and the rate of decline in them.”

Pauline Kennedy, Low Carbon Policy & Advocacy Manager, bp

“At the moment we’re looking at what the Safeguard Mechanism looks like in the period out to 2030, but we really need some investment signals for longer than that. We want some confidence that we’re going to have enduring policy beyond 2030, because those investments, you need more than eight years to get them off the ground.”

Karen Chester, Deputy Chair, Australian Securities & Investments Commission

“Transparency and integrity are our must have bookends. Their absence runs counter to fair and efficient markets. Their absence runs counter to confident and informed investment decisions to support this transition. All of which is needed for the efficient deployment of this transition capital.”

Blair Comley PSM, Net Zero Centre Leader & Partner, EY Port Jackson Partner

“The most important design feature of the [Safeguard Mechanism] scheme that is going to determine the trajectory is in fact access to ACCUs. Fundamentally, the level of ambition in these sectors is likely to be set by the price of ACCUs.”

Suzanne Thompson, Managing Director, Yambangku Aboriginal Cultural Heritage & Tourism Development Aboriginal Corporation

“In this (carbon) space I think we’ve found the magical key to bring us all together.”

About the Carbon Market Institute

The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) is an independent industry body, championing business best practice towards a negative emissions, nature positive world. Its nearly 150 members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous corporations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries developing decarbonisation and offset strategies. The positions put forward constitute CMI’s independent view and do not purport to represent any CMI individual, member company, or industry sector. CMI’s latest Advocacy Policy Positions Statement can be viewed here.

About the AER Summit

The Carbon Market Institute’s 9th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit is Australia’s premier business and climate action event for 2022. For nearly a decade, the Summit has been an important forum for discussion on climate and regional realities, as well as the investment required for a ‘just’ and inclusive transition to a net zero economy. It has also been a key platform for CMI’s mission to help business manage risks and capitalise on opportunities in the transition.

This year’s event will focus on urgency, integrity and ambition and feature more than 100 national and international speakers. It comes at another crucial juncture as the new Labor Government oversees significant climate policy reform, hands down its first federal budget and as carbon market growth and corporate decarbonisation accelerates in the US, Asia and Europe.

For further information, contact Thomas Hann on 0408880536 or

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