Professor Karen Hussey appointed Chair of Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee

The Albanese Government has appointed Professor Karen Hussey as full-time Chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC), the statutory body responsible for ensuring the integrity of Australia’s carbon crediting scheme.

Professor Hussey’s appointment is a significant step in implementing the Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) recommendation to reform the ERAC as the Carbon Abatement Integrity Committee, with adjusted functions and terms of reference and a full-time chair.

The Independent Review found that the ACCU scheme settings were sound and recommended a number of changes to enhance the operation of the scheme.

The appointment will help support market confidence in ACCUs and ensure the scheme continues to deliver real action that contributes to Australia’s emissions-reduction goals.

Professor Hussey has extensive experience in climate policy and stakeholder management with more than 15 years as an academic specialising in emission-reductions policy and climate change policy, economics and adaptation.

Professor Hussey served as Deputy Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Science and was inaugural Director at the University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures, which conducts research into transition to low-carbon, sustainable economies.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen congratulated Professor Hussey on her appointment.

“Professor Hussey is well credentialled and brings a breadth of expertise and experience to the integrity committee,” Minister Bowen said.

“Her new role will be vital in maintaining the integrity of the ACCU scheme and steering the committee as it transitions into its new structure and role.”

The ERAC will continue independently to consider and provide advice on the integrity of methods while the government consults on the broader reforms, and until the new Integrity Committee’s structure and functions are legislated. Professor Hussey will continue as the Chair of the Carbon Abatement Integrity Committee once established.

Work is also underway to recruit a First Nations member to the ERAC in line with the recommendations of the Independent ACCU Review.

When Professor Hussey commences on 9 October 2023, acting ERAC Chair Rowena Abbey will resume her role as an ERAC member.