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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]

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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 9 of 13 The Administrative Guidelines provide further information about developing and acquiring NT Government approval of an emissions offset plan. 8. Relationship with the Commonwealth Safeguard Mechanism Offsets may also be required under the Commonwealth Safeguard Mechanism (the Safeguard Mechanism) for emissions produced by projects in the Territory. Under the Safeguard Mechanism, large emitting facilities may be required to set a baseline limit on the amount of emissions they produce. Where they exceed or expect to exceed this baseline, the Safeguard Mechanism provides a number of options, including the use of offsets to compensate for excess emissions, or adjustment of the baseline. The NT Offsets Framework applies in addition to the Safeguard Mechanism. This means some emissions may be subject to offset requirements under both frameworks. To prevent duplication in offset delivery between the frameworks, any emissions that are offset to satisfy the Safeguard Mechanism may be subtracted from the amount of emissions required to be offset by an NT emissions offset approval condition. The purpose of this is to ensure that proponents are not required to offset the same emissions twice. For more information on the Safeguard Mechanism, refer to the Clean Energy Regulator website12. 9. Types of emissions offsets All emissions offsets required by an emissions offset approval condition must be delivered through activities that reduce, remove or capture emissions. The amount of emissions abatement achieved is represented by emissions offset units. Emissions offsets must be delivered using emissions offset units that are recognised as legitimate and robust by the Australian Government. This includes Australian Carbon Credit Units administered and regulated by Commonwealth legislation, or eligible offset units listed under Commonwealth Climate Active Neutral Standards (alternative emissions offset units). Under these frameworks, one emissions offset unit represents the abatement of one tCO2-e. 9.1. Australian Carbon Credit Units The preferred type of emissions offset unit is an Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCUs). ACCUs are regulated financial products under the Commonwealth Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (the Commonwealth ACCU Framework) and administered by the Clean Energy Regulator. 9.1.1. Eligibility of ACCUs Any ACCUs acquired under the Commonwealth ACCU Framework are eligible for use as emissions offsets under the NT Offsets Framework. However, the Commonwealth ACCU framework contains a range of requirements that may restrict ACCU use in the Territory, such as regulatory additionality requirements, or requirements that apply to ACCU purchase, generation and surrender. These requirements prevent an ACCU that is used to satisfy an emissions offset approval condition in the Territory from being sold on by the proponent. If an ACCU is used to meet an emission offsets approval condition, and is then sold on by the proponent, it would no longer satisfy the emissions offset approval condition. Further information on these Commonwealth requirements can be found on the Clean Energy Regulator website14. 12 http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ 13 http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ 14 http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/ http://www.cleanenergyregulator.gov.au/