Update on Environmental Planting and IFLM Methods

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A quick update on some upcoming changes to the ACCU Scheme methods.


The Reforestation by Environmental and Mallee Plantings (FullCAM) method is due to sunset on the first of October this year. This means that projects can no longer be registered against the method from that date. 


Given that the Clean Energy Regulator requires up to 90 days to assess each project registration application, they will need to be submitted by the end of June at the latest. Essentially, if you want to register a project under this method, you need to get moving pretty quickly! 


What’s sunsetting and why is it needed? 

Each method (or ‘methodology determination’) under the Australian Carbon Credit Unit Scheme is a legislative instrument. Sunsetting is the automatic repeal of these instruments on the first of April or October following the tenth anniversary of the method’s registration. After the sunset date, the method is deemed to have expired.


I have a project registered under this method, do I need to do anything?

No, you can continue your project and still claim credits after the method has expired. 


It’s important to note, however, that you can’t vary your project to add areas after the method has expired. If you’re planning to submit a variation to add carbon estimation areas, you’ll need to submit your variation request to the Regulator as soon as possible. 


If your project was registered within 18 months of the method expiry date, make sure that your crediting period does not begin after the expiry date. If your crediting period start date is after the expiry date, you will not be able to continue your project when the method expires, and you won’t be able to transition to a replacement method. Your project will be cancelled, and you’ll need to submit a whole new registration for any replacement method. 


You can refer to this document for more information, or contact us for assistance if you’re still unsure.


But will a replacement method be available by the expiry date?

We hope so! To prevent a gap in the availability of native tree planting methods, the Department for Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water has committed to develop a replacement method as a priority. 


The Department’s intention is to make minor improvements to the existing method, with a view to delivering an exposure draft to the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee in May 2024. This will be followed by public consultation from mid-May. 


Generally, the introduction of a new method allows for projects registered under the expired method to transfer to the new method without having to submit a new project registration. The project must then adopt the eligibility requirements of the new method. Adopting the new method permits proponents to submit variations to add areas to the project, which is prohibited under the expired method. 


We don’t know exactly what this transition will look like yet but anticipate guidelines to be released once the new method becomes active. 


What about other methods used by CFF – when will they sunset? 

The ‘Plantation forestry’ method is due to sunset in 2032, and the ‘Estimating soil organic carbon sequestration using measurement and models’ method will be sunset in 2031. So, plenty of time to get your projects up and running! 


What’s happening with the IFLM method?

The proposed Integrated Farm and Land Management method has been under development since early 2022 and was due to be reviewed by the ERAC in early 2024. However, information released by the Regulator suggests that further evidence is required before the method can be submitted to ERAC for assessment. This is now due to take place in the second half of 2024. 


The IFLM method is being developed to combine the expired Human Induced Regeneration method with the activities of several existing soil and vegetation sequestration methods. It will allow for multiple activities in the same area, something which is currently prohibited under existing methods. 


Ready to find out more?

Explore our range of educational resources in our Carbon Farming Education Hub where we frequently publish educational articles, webinars, and guidebooks. 


When you’re ready to explore the feasibility of undertaking a carbon project on your property, email us at hello@carbonfarming.org.au or give us a bell at (08) 6835 1140 to be connected with one of our project facilitators.

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