Under the Australia cap-and-trade scheme carbon units are classified as a property right.


Such a stance is supported by legislative materials accompanying the adoption of the Australian Clean Energy Bill 2011 (see ‘Exposure Draft of the Clean Energy Bill 2011, Commentary on Provisions’ of 28 July 2011 page 96).


A carbon units are personal property and, subject to the requirements of the mechanism, transmissible by assignment (that is, as a result of some form of agreement to transfer the units to another person), by will (that is, as part of a deceased person‘s estate) and by other forms of transfer permitted by law.


The intention of the said legal construction is to promote confidence in the integrity of carbon units, reduce uncertainty for their holders, and further promote confidence in the development of the market for carbon units.


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