Waste company Veolia Environmental Services bought over 7 million CERs following a July deal with the government that lets waste firms use international offsets to compensate for future carbon tax costs that they had passed on to customers.
The latest update of the Australian National Registry of Emission Units (ANREU) showed that Veolia holds 7,071,109 CERs that it didn’t hold in the beginning of the calendar year.
In July, the Australian Landfill Owners Association and the Australian Local Government Association reached an agreement on how waste companies could offset the income they had earned from historically passing the future costs associated with the carbon tax on to customers.
The charges were based on waste decay calculations years into the future, but as the carbon tax was repealed in July 2014, those charges had to be refunded.
Around A$100 million ($72m) has been returned to easily identifiable customers, but up to A$100 million more can’t be repaid as there are no records of who the customers were.
The July agreement stated that any money that it is unable to be refunded to customers should be invested in projects that cut emissions or used to buy carbon offsets, including UN-issued carbon credits.
Under the terms of the deal, Veolia will transfer the 7 million CERs to the government’s account, though it remains unclear if Australia will use them towards meeting its Kyoto Protocol target or cancel them.
The ANREU update showed that no other waste companies currently hold CERs. The landfill operators have until Dec. 31, 2017 to complete the compensation, regardless of whether they choose to invest in local projects or buy more CERs or other offsets.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org