Among purposes of the Register is to assist the public and carbon markets to make informed judgements as to the integrity of Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) issued under the scheme as well as  to allow potential buyers to locate potential sources of ACCUs and to identify projects with attributes that may be of interest to the buyer. The interesting feature of the Registry arrangements is, however, project proponents can request that information about the project area not be included on the Register.

 

The separate issue is the transparency of the information on ACCU units. Administrator must publish on its website the name of each person that receives ACCUs and the total number of credits issued, as soon as practical after the ACCUs are issued.

 

 

The Administrator of the scheme (the said role is performed from 2 April 2012 the Australian Clean Energy Regulator) is obliged to maintain an up-to-date, web-based Register, which lists abatement projects under the scheme.

 

The important function of the Register is also to assist with land conveyancing. People wanting to buy land that has a sequestration project will need to know the exact location of the project, when it was established, what kind of project it is, how many units have been issued and whether any units have been relinquished. This will allow them to factor into the sale price of the land the potential costs (including opportunity costs) and benefits of the project.

 

Information on the Register

 

The Register must set out the following information about each project:

 

• the name of the project, the project proponent and a description of the project. This identifying information is needed to distinguish between projects;

 

• the location of the project and the project area. This information is for conveyancing purposes and may be of general public interest. For example,  regional bodies and state governments may have an interest in the monitoring the number and type of projects, as well as the amount of abatement they generate;

 

• the name of the applicable methodology determination used by the project;

 

• whether the project declaration has been made conditional on regulatory approvals being obtained prior to the end of the first crediting period;

 

• whether the project is consistent with the relevant regional natural resource management plan. This provision is to create an incentive for projects to be consistent with regional plans. For reputational reasons, buyers are less likely to want ACCUs from projects that are known to be inconsistent with regional plans;

 

• whether the project is subject to the voluntary automatic cancellation regime. This is so that consumers who have purchased services such as treeplanting services can readily identify that while the activity they have financed has been included in the scheme, it will not be double counted, and the proponent will not receive both ACCUs and the payment for the tree-planting service;

 

• if any Kyoto or non-Kyoto ACCUs have been issued for a project, the total number of ACCUs issued, the financial year in which they have been issued, and the person to whom they have been issued must be included on the Register;

 

• whether any ACCUs have been relinquished and whether the project is subject to a carbon maintenance obligation. This information is to assist with conveyancing. This information will tell someone who is interested in buying the land whether more ACCUs are likely to be issued for the area, how many ACCUs they would have to hand back if they wanted to remove carbon stores and whether the land is subject to a carbon maintenance obligation;

 

• if Kyoto ACCUs have been issued, how many have been exchanged for different Kyoto units. The Kyoto rules require information relating to Kyoto units to be published;

 

• whether the project is a joint implementation project. The Kyoto rules require this information to be published. If the project is a joint implementation project, other information that is specified in the regulations will also be published;

 

• information about environmental or community benefits of a project. This will assist buyers who have a preference, and are willing to pay a premium, for ACCUs issued for projects that generate particular co-benefits; and

 

• any other information about the project that the Administrator considers relevant.

 

The Register must also identify areas of land that were formerly project areas which are subject to carbon maintenance obligations, and set out the total number of ACCUs issued in relation to the project. This information will tell someone who is interested in buying the land whether they would have continuing obligations to maintain carbon stores or a positive obligation to restore carbon stores to the benchmark sequestration level.