28 January 2014 — Leading global legal firm Norton Rose Fulbright has released a guide on engaging with the fine details of the Carbon Farming Initiative.

Since the CFI is one of the key policy moves the current government is pursuing in terms of getting a grip on carbon, demystifying the legislation so business can effectively engage with it is vital.

Authored by Norton Rose Fulbright Australia head of climate change Elisa de Wit, with colleagues Damon Jones and Hannah Gould, the CFI Legal and Contracts Guide aims to provide an integrated single resource for all existing and potential CFI participants. It also aims to demystify the complexity of the CFI legislation, the supporting regulations and methodologies, and the contractual arrangements required for CFI transactions.

The Guide is divided into two parts:

Part A provides an explanation of the CFI legislation and the legal steps for undertaking a project and receiving ACCUs.

Part B provides an overview of the types of contracts which CFI participants or purchasers of ACCUs may need to enter into, and explains some of the standard contract terms which may be included in a contract to buy and sell ACCUs.

In the forward to the guide, de Wit writes, “Through advising our clients and engaging with the Australian Government, we have witnessed the CFI grow from an ambitious policy proposal to a successful program which had, by November 2013, declared 92 eligible offsets projects and delivered nearly three million tonnes of carbon abatement.

“As with any new initiative, the CFI journey has already had its challenges along the way. These will no doubt continue, but importantly the CFI will have the opportunity to evolve as ‘on the ground’ experiences inform further improvements and the surrounding policy landscape changes. In this changing environment, the guide can only hope to provide a ‘point in time’ position of the CFI legal framework.”

As at December 2013, 101 CFI projects had been declared in Australia and the Clean Energy Regulator had issued over four million Australian Carbon Credit Units from these projects.

You can download CFI Legal and Contracts Guide here.

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia has been involved with the development and implementation of the CFI for the past three years, and has released a series of legal updates and other resources in conjunction with the Carbon Market Institute.

A series of workshops on the legal and contracts guide are planned for the major capital cities throughout February and March.