May 18, 2022

Eco-Markets Australia May Newsletter

The latest for Australia’s first independent administrator of environmental markets

Update from our CEO

It is very exciting to be writing the first CEO update for an Eco-Markets Australia newsletter! There has certainly been plenty going on since I joined the team in February! I’ve joined a great team, and we are focused on our 3 key priorities in the coming 12 months:

  1. Promoting Eco-Markets Australia and the important role we play in independently administering the Reef Credit Scheme
  2. Ensuring the financial sustainability of the business into the future
  3. Looking for opportunities to support the development of new schemes that we could administer or support through registry services

We’ve not long ticked over 30,000 reef credits being issued! This is an amazing achievement in an incredibly short timeframe. Keep an eye out for our reef credit decision making tool coming out later in the year – aimed at helping landholders better understand reef credits and the expectations that sit around being part of a voluntary environmental market. We think that this will support participants to understand the scheme more, and ensure that the right questions are being asked of farm advisors and project developers.

It’s been a whirlwind of meetings, introductions and planning, and as you can see from the rest of this newsletter, there’s no shortage of activity occurring! Please reach out if there is something we can do to support you. The best place to keep up to date on our news as it happens, is via our LinkedIn page – click here to follow.

Reef Credit update

We have issued over 30,000 reef credits! The Reef Credit Scheme enables land managers to undertake projects that improve water quality through changes in land management to generate a tradeable unit of pollutant reduction or ‘Reef Credit’. A Reef Credit represents a quantifiable volume of nutrient, pesticide or sediment prevented from entering the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Reef Credit Registry developer update

Our Reef Credit Registry developer IHS Markit is now part of S&P Global. Already a global leader in environmental registry infrastructure, this merger with S&P Global now unites data, technology, and assets from two world-class organizations. Their combined strengths in credit and risk management, ESG and energy transition data and analysis, indices, and private markets will unlock opportunity, foster growth, and accelerate progress for our registry and reef credits.

Latest news from us

12 months since appointment of inaugural Board

This month heralds 12 months since our inaugural Board of Directors was appointed. It was a pleasure to have both our New South Wales and Victoria based members be able to join us in person for our May board meeting in Brisbane. We’re proud of our progress since appointing the inaugural Board and greatly appreciate their continued strategic direction as we continue to grow as Australia’s first independent administrator of environmental markets.

Update on 2050 Reef Plan

The Australian Government and Queensland Government are investing more than $3 billion over 10 years (from 2014-15 to 2023-25) to implement the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan. Following the first five-yearly review of the plan, an updated version has been released to ensure it continues to address the right priorities and actions to support the health and resilience of the Reef. View the updated plan here.

UNESCO visit to Great Barrier Reef

Our chair, Jo Sheppard GAICD presented to delegates of UNESCO‘s World Heritage Centre and IUCN as part of their recent mission to the Great Barrier Reef. Jo said: “They were very interested to learn more about the creation of the Reef Credit Scheme and how it supports the delivery of Reef 2050 targets by establishing a market approach to invest in water quality improvements and to establish reef-friendly public-private partnerships. We know the Scheme is crucial to significantly scaling-up water quality results through attracting private sector funds from corporate compliance, ESG and Nature Based financing – Reef Credits will facilitate this mobilisation of capital to the Great Barrier Reef through tradable units of water pollution reduction, as is the case for other global environment markets.”

Reef Credits at ALCA Conference

The Eco-Markets Australia team participated in the Australian Land Conservation Alliance’s 2022 Private Land Conservation conference in March. It was great to be part of the discussion on emerging credit opportunities and how Reef Credits is pioneering Australian voluntary markets. With climate change and ecosystem sustainability becoming ever more prominent issues, there is increasing interest and support for the development of new approaches to conservation.