How does offsetting work?
Offset units are used to compensate for emissions a business produces, to help reduce their carbon footprint. Offset units are generated by projects that reduce, remove or capture emissions from the atmosphere such as reforestation, renewable energy or energy efficiency. One carbon credit is issued for each tonne of emissions avoided, removed or captured from the atmosphere.
There are numerous different projects generating offsets in Australia and around the world. To be certified, Climate Active members are required to use offsets that result in genuine emissions reduction.
Climate Active assesses eligibility at the scheme level, it does not assess or certify individual offset projects or methods.
Guidance on buying offsets is provided in the Technical Guidance Manual. Climate Active encourages all members, regardless of whether they are purchasing offsets directly or through a broker, to undertake their own due diligence assessment of the individual projects, including the carbon abatement method used and other social, cultural and economic information about the project.
Australian Carbon Credit Units
When you purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) the benefits go directly to Australian communities and our environment.
ACCUs are a financial product under the Corporations Act 2001. You should seek independent legal and/or financial advice about your individual circumstances.
Offsets are more than carbon
While carbon offset projects prevent, reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere - that's not all they do.
Often these projects have other benefits such enhanced biodiversity, habitat protection, creating employment, helping people to live and work on country, improving health and education, and providing access to clean and affordable energy.
Co-benefits include many aspects of life:
- Environmental benefits include increased biodiversity, maintaining habitat for native animal and plant species, improved local air and water quality, avoiding vegetation clearance, re-establishing vegetation on previously cleared areas, and improved environmental management.
- Social and cultural benefits are the positive aspects for communities where a project is based such as employment for local people, living and working on country, capacity building, improved health and education, and access to clean and affordable energy.
- Economic benefits occur when income from the sale of offset credits flows to the community where a project is located and often translates into employment and community support, improved infrastructure, technology transfer, and increased economic activity.
- On 3 November 2023, Verra announced it had launched an investigation into the Kasigau Corridor Project REDD+ Project, following allegations of physical and sexual abuse at the project. As a result, Climate Active has put on hold the assessment of certification applications from businesses using Kasigau Corridor REDD+ offsets, until such time as Verra has completed their investigation.
- On 27 October 2023, Verra announced it had launched an investigation into the Kariba REDD+ Project. As a result, Climate Active has put on hold the assessment of certification applications from businesses using Kariba REDD+ offsets, until such time as Verra has completed their investigation.