You can sell Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs) from your project to the Australian Government through a carbon abatement contract. You will need to bid at an auction to win a carbon abatement contract.

Trading and selling ACCUs

You don't need a carbon abatement contract to participate in the ACCU Scheme or trade and sell ACCUs. You can choose to sell ACCUs to private buyers on the secondary market who want to offset their emissions. The secondary market is not regulated by the government.

Find out more about selling carbon credits on the secondary market.

About carbon abatement contracts

A carbon abatement contract is an agreement to sell ACCUs to the Australian Government.

Under a carbon abatement contract:

  • you agree to deliver ACCUs to us
  • we agree to buy your ACCUs at a fixed price.

Contracts can be ongoing for up to 10 years, or a one-off transaction.

Benefits of a carbon abatement contract

There are benefits to entering into a carbon abatement contract. You should consider your own circumstances before you decide if a carbon abatement contract is right for your project.

Seek legal advice

A carbon abatement contract is a commercial agreement. It includes legally enforceable rights and obligations. You should seek your own legal advice before you enter a carbon abatement contract.


A carbon abatement contract offers a:

  • guaranteed buyer
  • fixed price per ACCU
  • flexible duration (up to 10 years).

The terms and conditions for payment are negotiated and agreed up front. This can give your project long-term financial security, even before you start investing in it.

Project financing

Entering a carbon abatement contract can make it easier to secure funding for your emissions reduction project. Investors may feel more confident knowing your project has a guaranteed revenue stream from ACCU sales.

Types of carbon abatement contracts

There are 2 types of carbon abatement contracts:

  • Fixed delivery contracts: you agree to sell us a set number of ACCUs for a set period of time at a set price.
  • Optional delivery contracts: you have the right to sell a set number of ACCUs at a set price within a set timeframe, but you have the option to sell on the open market.

Find out more about the key features of carbon abatement contracts and how they work.


Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units

Government purchasing of ACCUs is under review following the Independent Review of Australian Carbon Credit Units. The information on this page reflects the previous process for establishing a contract.

Find out how the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is implementing the review recommendations.

Read about the Independent Review of ACCUs

To enter into a carbon abatement contract, you must bid for it at auction. These auctions are run as reverse auctions where the Australian Government is the buyer.

At an auction, sellers:

  • submit a price they are willing to sell ACCUs for
  • specify the quantity of ACCUs they want to sell
  • specify when the ACCUs will be delivered.

The Australian Government then chooses the lowest prices to offer contracts. We engage independent third parties to assess and report on the probity of all auctions.