Territory Stories

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy and Technical Guidelines



Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy and Technical Guidelines


Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Northern Territory Offset Framework




The Northern Territory Government (NT Government) has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20501. Meeting this target will require significant effort to decarbonise the Northern Territory (the Territory) economy. Avoiding or mitigating GHG emissions (emissions) is the preferred approach. Offsets provide a mechanism of last resort to compensate for emissions that cannot be avoided or mitigated (residual emissions). The purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy and Technical Guidelines (the policy) is to support and guide the consistent, transparent and appropriate use of offsets under Territory legislation to compensate for emissions and support achievement of the Territory’s net zero emissions by 2050 target. The policy is a statutory instrument given effect under section 125(2) of the Environment Protection Act 2019 (EP Act), and is a component of the Northern Territory Offsets Framework (the NT Offsets Framework). In this policy, a reference to the term ‘emissions’ includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons. A standard unit called a ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’ or CO2-e is used to quantify the relative impact of these different types of gases on the atmosphere, and is usually expressed in tonnes of CO2-e (tCO2-e).


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

1. Purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Offsets Policy and Technical Guidelines -- 2. The Northern Territory Offsets Framework -- 3. Policy scope -- 4. Policy application -- 5. Target for emissions offsets -- 6. Use of emissions offsets in the Northern Territory -- 6.1. NT Government emissions management and abatement expectations -- 6.2. Applying offset requirements -- 6.3. Determining when offsets are required -- 6.4. Emissions offset approval conditions -- 7. Designing and delivering emissions offsets -- 8. Relationship with the Commonwealth Safeguard Mechanism -- 9. Types of emissions offsets -- 9.1. Australian Carbon Credit Units -- 9.1.1. Eligibility of ACCUs -- 9.1.2. Acquiring and delivering ACCUs -- 9.2. Alternative emissions offset units -- 9.2.1. Eligibility of alternative emissions offset units -- 9.2.2. Acquiring and delivering alternative emissions offset units -- 10. Additionality requirements -- 11. Emissions offset order of priority -- 12. Delivery requirements and timeframes -- 13. Monitoring, adjustments and reporting -- 14. Compliance and enforcement -- 15. Review of the policy




Greenhouse Gas Emissions; offsets; policy

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Northern Territory Offset Framework


12 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/898484 [E-Publications: Northern Territory Offsets Principles]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/898482 [E-Publications: Biodiversity offsets policy]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security Northern Territory Offsets Framework - GHG Emissions Offsets Policy and Technical Guidelines Final Version 1.0 1 August 2022 Page 5 of 13 5. Stakeholder engagement, disclosure and transparency is required 6. Duplication of offsets must be avoided. These principles are further explained in detail in the NT Offset Principles document. The policies and technical guidelines focus on and guide the use, design and delivery of specific types of offsets, for example offsets required to compensate for emissions, or impacts to biodiversity. The Administrative Guidelines outline the administrative processes, requirements, roles and responsibilities for all offsets required by Territory legislation. A public offset register is used to maintain transparent records of offsets secured under Territory legislation. For further information about the NT Offsets Framework, including the above principles, policies and guidelines, refer to the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security (DEPWS) website4. 3. Policy scope This policy establishes requirements for the design and delivery of emissions offsets required by Territory legislation5. Any proposals or plans for an emissions offset that is required by Territory legislation must satisfy this policy. To remove any doubt, this applies to emissions offsets in relation to any scope6 of emissions required to be offset under Territory legislation. The policy does not bind decision makers on when to apply emissions offsets or the quantity of emissions for which offsets are required. The decision to require an offset is made in consideration of the individual development proposal and the legislative framework under which it is being assessed. The policy is a guide for decision makers on the use and delivery of emissions offsets under Territory legislation. 4. Policy application The policy informs: NT Government decision makers and assessing entities7 in determining and applying emissions offset requirements to proposed development under Territory legislation proponents in identifying potential emissions offset requirements, developing emissions offset proposals and plans, and delivering offsets to satisfy emissions offset requirements under Territory legislation DEPWS in assessing and approving emissions offset proposals and plans 4 https://depws.nt.gov.au 5 Offsets required to compensate for impacts to biodiversity are subject to a separate biodiversity offset policy and technical guidelines under the NT Offsets Framework. 6 This may include scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions, depending on which scope of emissions the emissions offset approval condition relates too. The different types of emissions scope are explained further in the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Management for New and Expanding Large Emitters policy 7 Including independent assessing entities providing advice to the NT Government, such as the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority. https://depws.nt.gov.au/