Carbon farming in Australia is a growing industry and is making an important contribution to reducing emissions and meeting our international obligations to the Paris Agreement.
Most of the current domestic carbon demand is through the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and the Australian Government is spending around $2.5 billion to purchase carbon offsets from Australian projects. Bio-sequestration of carbon in soils and vegetation and abatement or avoidance of emissions are the two primary streams employed by the ERF. There are 10 broad methods under these streams (Figure 1) and some 37 discrete methodologies.
The other emerging demand is the voluntary market which sits outside the ERF and is driven by business and individuals who want to offset their greenhouse gas emissions or seek to obtain carbon neutrality.
In this market there is also growing interest in Co-benefits associated with carbon farming projects. Buyers in the voluntary carbon market are paying a premium price according to different carbon quality characteristics, including environmental integrity, social and cultural co-benefits associated with implementing the project activities.
Carbon farming through “modifying existing land management practices for carbon outcomes can positively benefit the natural environment and improve agricultural productivity. Carbon farming activities can, among other outcomes, increase the level of Soil Organic Carbon, support land revegetation and avert clearing. Positive outcomes can include reducing agricultural demand for fertilisers, improving water quality and promoting biodiversity and wildlife habitat protection for native species” (Carbon Market Institute, Carbon Farming: An Overview, 2020).
Producers in the WA Rangelands (and others) are showing increasing levels of interest in a range of carbon methodologies. Rangelands NRM has developed four factsheets around methodologies that are applicable to various regions of the WA rangelands:
Find out more about our webinar on Demystifying Carbon on the 28th of October, 2020.
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