NSW Government unveils new vehicle emissions offset scheme

Image credit: NSW Government

NSW drivers now have the option to offset their car’s carbon emissions when they register it every year under the new vehicle emissions offset scheme.

Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean stated that many Australians are seeking practical methods to combat climate change, and the new scheme will provide more chances for people to reduce their carbon footprint.

“NSW is the first state to offer this option, with all money going directly into Australian carbon offset projects. No international credits will be purchased,” Minister Kean said.

Contributions from the scheme will be used to buy Australian Carbon Credit Units, which will help the State meet its goals of a 70% reduction in emissions by 2035 and a net zero emissions level by 2050. These units will fund projects that decrease or offset CO2 emissions in Australia.

“The option is voluntary, and participants can choose to offset any amount between $5 and $200 when they register their vehicle online,” Minister Kean said.

According to Minister Kean, the average car’s 2.4 tonnes of CO2 emissions produced annually can be completely offset by spending $80 on carbon offsets at the time of registration.

“The transport sector is responsible for about 22 per cent of all NSW emissions, with almost 50 per cent coming from passenger vehicles. More and more NSW drivers are opting for electric vehicles (EVs) each year, however, this scheme gives those drivers who haven’t made the switch yet the option to offset their emissions instead,” Minister Kean added.

The vehicle emissions offset scheme is one component of the NSW Government‘s broader zero-emission transportation policy, which also includes:

  • $209 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure;
  • no stamp duty on EVs under $78,000;
  • $3,000 rebates for electric vehicles under $68,750; 
  • converting the State’s entire bus fleet of over 8,000 vehicles to zero-emissions; and
  • allowing electric vehicles to drive in transit lanes.

Corporate Carbon Advisory (CCA) Pty Ltd has been designated as the offset supplier partner. The scheme will directly assist regeneration projects around NSW, such as the Longdowns Forest Regeneration project in Bourke and Brewarrina Shires.

Due to their registration in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) project registry maintained by the Clean Energy Regulator, all projects may be completely tracked. To ensure that the offset advantages of all carbon credits purchased through the scheme are realised at once, they will all be immediately retired.