The passage of the government’s Nature Repair Bill through Senate last night is an important step in mobilising extra private investment into nature repair, and if designed appropriately, can be a platform for a world leading framework, said the Carbon Market Institute (CMI). In particular, it welcomed the separation for now of biodiversity certificates from offsetting until reforms to the Environmental and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) are completed.
In its submission on the Bill, CMI highlighted the value of market-based mechanisms in the proposed nature repair market alongside the existing Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) framework, which both have a key role to play in tackling the twin climate and biodiversity crises. However, it stressed that these must be additional to, rather than a substitute for, public investment and regulations such as the broader EPBC Act reform.
Commenting on the passing of the Bill, CMI CEO John Connor said: “The exclusion of biodiversity certificates from the compliance environmental offsets market while the government progresses further environmental reforms is important to ensure this world-first market delivers on its ‘nature positive’ mandate.”
“CMI welcomes affirmation provided by the Senate that the nature repair framework will be built on that of Australia’s carbon crediting framework, as it undergoes transparency and governance enhancements recommended by the 2022 Chubb Review, which otherwise found the ACCU framework to be ‘essentially sound’.”
“How the operational details of a nature repair market will be finalised from here will be critical. This includes development of biodiversity certification methodologies, how it will operate in parallel with Australia’s existing carbon market, clarity on government funding support, and ensuring clarity for investors in how biodiversity certificates can be used.”
“CMI looks forward to working with all political parties, investors and stakeholders to ensure these market initiatives work in tandem with public funding and regulations, and in doing so prevent environmental degradation and support ecological restoration with appropriate local and Indigenous benefits.”
CMI has closely engaged in the development of the Nature Repair Market proposal throughout 2022 and 2023, including participating in the Senate Inquiry and associated public hearings. CMI’s recommendations have included advocating for the Government to exclude certificates from use as compliance offsets under EPBC Act approvals or allow project proponents to ‘opt out’ from selling into this market, until longer-term EPBC Act reforms are finalised.
A list of CMI’s responses to and engagements on the Nature Repair Market can be found below:
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About the Carbon Market Institute
The Carbon Market Institute (CMI) is a member-based institute accelerating the transition towards a negative emissions, nature positive world. It champions best practice in carbon markets and climate policy, and its 150+ members include primary producers, carbon project developers, Indigenous organisations, legal, technology and advisory services, insurers, banks, investors, corporate entities and emission intensive industries. The positions put forward constitute CMI’s independent view and do not purport to represent any CMI individual, member company, or industry sector.