Beyond Neutral

Greenhouse Solutions

National Carbon Offset Standard

In late November 2009, the Australian Government released the National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).  

Download a copy of NCOS

NCOS will come into effect from 1 July 2010 when the Greenhouse Friendly™ program comes to an end.   

Greenhouse Friendly™ abatement will not be eligible offsets under NCOS as it is generated in CPRS covered sectors and/or is counted towards Australia’s Kyoto Protocol target.   

Those seeking carbon neutrality will be able to purchase from a range of eligible offset credits under NCOS including:

  • Gold Standard
  • Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS)
  • Kyoto Units: CERs from the CDM (with some exceptions), ERUs from JI, and RMUs
  • Credits from domestic offset projects reducing emissions from sources not counted towards Australia’s Kyoto Protocol target

and if the CPRS becomes law:

  • Australian Emissions Units (CPRS permits) including forestry projects that opt in and any other offsets allowed under the CPRS 

VCS offsets from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) and reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) projects will be eligible if using methodologies approved by Department of Climate Change.

Domestic emissions sources are eligible to create NCOS offsets if not covered by CPRS and not counted towards Australia’s Kyoto Protocol target.  These include Kyoto Protocol Article 3.4 activities:

  • grazing land and crop land management - including biosequestration through soil carbon and biochar,
  • forest management (forests established before 1990), and
  • revegetation (establishment of woody biomass that does not meet forest criteria).

A logo will be made available for organisations or products achieving carbon neutrality that complements the CPRS and achieves genuine emissions reductions.

If the CPRS legislation is passed, governance processes will be developed for NCOS methodologies and projects complementary to CPRS offset approval arrangements.

NCOS will be regularly reviewed and updated so the list of eligible offsets and eligible emissions sources for domestic offsets is likely to change over time as carbon markets develop and international emissions accounting rules change.

Lots of other aspects of how this plays out will be impacted by the recent rejection of the CPRS.  We will add more information as it becomes available