In line with changing expectations of carbon markets, its 2025 Strategic Plan and mission to accelerate the transition to net zero emissions, the Carbon Market Institute (CMI) has today published details of its new member and sponsorship policy.

The policy will require carbon-intensive and large corporate members to have publicly available decarbonisation transition plans by mid-2025 to be eligible for full membership, or to be a lead sponsor at major CMI events.

The transition plans must address five broad themes and demonstrate engagement with emerging best practice, such as the International Standard Organisation’s Net Zero Guidelines. The themes include emissions reporting; strategy and target setting; prioritising decarbonisation and the use of high integrity credits; implementation actions, and governance and regular review.

The new policy aims to support members to urgently decarbonise based on credible climate strategies and transformative investments, including through high-integrity approaches to carbon markets.

Any carbon-intensive members (emitting greater than 100,000tCO2e of Scope 1 emissions per annum) or large corporations (with an annual revenue greater than $5 million) that do not meet the criteria will be offered the Associate category of CMI membership.

Only full Corporate members have voting rights on Board or constitutional changes, while Associate members do not, but still have access to most CMI services in order to facilitate vital capacity building, knowledge-sharing and support towards best practice standards.

CMI CEO John Connor said the policy is an important step in supporting best practice in decarbonisation for business at a critical inflection point for carbon markets:

“Carbon markets are entering a new phase as global temperatures approach the Paris agreement’s 1.5C threshold, and amidst intense focus on integrity in carbon crediting and decarbonisation strategies.  Corporations are grappling with how to lead in the climate crisis and CMI has a responsibility to engage and support business members in best practice responses. ”

“Previously some have understood carbon markets as just a means for business to offset emissions. Now they must help business achieve their net zero goals and in doing so, invest in climate solutions beyond their business to accelerate whole of economy net zero emissions.”

“Carbon crediting and markets have an important role to play here and need to be closely aligned to adequate, credible and transparent decarbonisation strategies, both at government and corporate levels.”

“Our new policy identifies benchmarks in five areas for our large corporate members with whom we’ll work as part of our mission to accelerate the use of market-based solutions and support best practice in decarbonisation.”

“At the same time, we acknowledge that transition pathways will be complex, particularly for those companies in hard-to-abate sectors, and CMI will be assisting its members to understand, develop and demonstrate their commitment to the criteria ahead of the policy implementation in 2025.”

“As regulator and investor disclosure requirements increase, CMI has a leadership role to play and looks forward to working with member organisations as they step up to the task of transparently demonstrating their transition approach,” Connor said.

Small corporate members, existing Associate members and Individual members will not be affected in this phase, though will be encouraged to implement a best practice plan.

Eligibility for sponsorship for the top Diamond and Platinum Partner tiers of the Australasian Emission Reduction Summit or lead partner at other major CMI events will require these members to demonstrate achievement of progress against the transition plan criteria.

To allow members adequate time to prepare for the changes, the final policy is intended to come into effect from 1 July 2025.

The CMI Member and Sponsorship Policy, with background and overview, is available here.


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.

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