November 23, 2021

Eco-Markets Australia to Establish Environmental Registry

Eco-Markets Australia, the nation’s first independent administrator of environmental markets, is pleased to announce the establishment of an Environmental Registry for the Reef Credit Scheme.

Eco-Markets Australia was established during the creation of the Reef Credit Scheme, a world-first environmental market scheme designed to improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

The new registry will provide market participants with a secure platform to track the generation, sale and retirement of Reef Credits.

“The online registry going live is an exciting milestone for Eco-Markets Australia and will lead to more market participants in the Reef Credit Scheme,” said Eco-Markets Australia Chair Jo Sheppard.

“Not only will the platform support efficient project registration and Reef Credit issuance processes and reporting tools, but it will also provide transparency and visibility of the Reef Credit Scheme that will allow stakeholders to view live data.

“This is an important step forward as we continue to grow this innovative new Scheme that has attracted global interest and build capacity to administer other environmental markets in the future. The Reef Credit Scheme Registry will enable growth of the market, with potential investors keen to support water quality projects.”

Reef Credits are verified units of pollution reduction, with clear rules and auditing, to ensure buyers receive quantified and verified environmental results.

Eco-Markets Australia has engaged IHS Markit, a global leader in environmental registry infrastructure, to deliver the Reef Credit Scheme Registry platform.

“IHS Markit is pleased to support the growth and evolution of Australia’s emerging reef credit market through the launch of this registry,” said Kathy Benini, Head of Environmental Solutions at IHS Markit.

“The registry provides a robust and secure platform to enable greater transparency and efficiency and maximize participation in this newly developed market.”

The first ever Reef Credits were successfully sold to global bank HSBC by project developer GreenCollar and Queensland sugarcane farmers Jamie and Brian Dore.

In the second tranche of Reef Credits to be sold, five sugarcane farmers traded 18,000 Reef Credits purchased by the Queensland Government to improve Reef water quality.

Minister for the Environment and Great Barrier Reef Meaghan Scanlon said the Queensland Government was investing a further $10 million in Reef Credits to reduce the amount of pollution entering the Reef.

“Reef Credits provide farmers with additional income and recognises their efforts to reduce run-off to the Reef.

“We call on other organisations to invest in the future of the Great Barrier Reef as part of their environmental, social and governance strategies.”

The Federal Minister for Environment Sussan Ley welcomed this milestone in the Scheme’s development: “Reef Credits have the potential to encourage new and significant investment in helping stop pollutants at the source before they reach the Reef.

“In addition to supporting the Reef Credits scheme by funding the secretariat, through the Reef Trust Partnership, we are pleased to have committed $1.6 million to purchase Reef Credits as part of our Mackay-Whitsunday, Lower Burdekin, and Lower Herbert regional water quality programs.”

Funding to support the development of the Scheme, Governance and Registry was provided by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. The Reef Credit Scheme was collaboratively developed by Foundation Members: Queensland Government, GreenCollar, Terrain NRM and NQ Dry Tropics.

“The Great Barrier Reef is an irreplaceable ecosystem, home to thousands of species of marine life, but poor water quality from runoff poses a significant threat to its health,” said Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden.

“Improving water quality on the Great Barrier Reef is both complex and expensive, so we need a transformational change in how water quality improvement activities are funded to achieve enduring and self-sustaining advances at sufficient scale to improve Reef health.”

The Reef Credit Scheme Registry launches Tuesday 23 November 2021 AEST. For more information, or to access the Registry, visit: www.eco-markets.org.au/registry