It should allow Australian businesses to offset their products with pollution reduction under the government’s carbon farming initiative.
The NCOS provides guidance on what is a genuine voluntary offset and sets minimum requirements for calculating, auditing and offsetting the carbon footprint of an organisation, product or event to achieve carbon neutrality.
It provides a means of ensuring the integrity of the carbon offsets and carbon neutral products available in the Australian voluntary market for consumers and businesses.
NCOS has been revised in light of the Clean Energy Future package and the CFI, and works to provide increased opportunities for consumers and businesses to access domestic offsets under the standard.
Carbon credits created under the CFI can also be used to meet carbon neutral commitments under the NCOS, providing another market for landholders who voluntarily undertake greenhouse gas abatement activities.
The revised standard also allows carbon credits issued under the government’s previous Greenhouse Friendly scheme to be used to offset emissions under the NCOS.
“The Federal Government introduced the NCOS on 1 July, 2010 to ensure national consistency and consumer confidence in the voluntary carbon market. The release of the revised standard follows a review conducted in late 2011,” said Dreyfus.
The agriculture and forestry sectors, according to the Department for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, account for 123.7 mega tonnes of CO2 emissions or about 23% of Australia’s total greenhouse emissions. Agriculture alone accounts for 78.2 Mt CO2-e.
The CFI scheme aims to help Australia reach its emissions target of 80% below 2000 levels by 2050. Levels in 2000 were 552.7 Mt CO2-e leaving the target as 110.54 Mt CO2-e according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.