Profiting from carbon offsets Media Release

Aug 03, 2007 - 8:03am

Soil management relies heavily on costly inputs like inorganic fertilizers and pesticides.  Remove these inputs and the result is lackluster.

However through fresh approaches such as no-till and adding quality organic compost, soil food-web functions can be restored.  Compaction can be reduced enabling deeper rooting plants that are better able to cope with climatic extremities.

Another benefit about improved soil management is the future potential to earn “carbon credits” under an emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Already in a private deal between Carbon for Life and Rio Tinto Coal in WA, some farmers will be paid $90/tonne annually and retrospectively for their soil carbon.

Nationally, there will soon be a countrywide ETS aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a contributor to climate change.

For farmers this is likely to mean opportunities to create and sell carbon-offsets. A carbon-offset is any verifiable activity that reduces greenhouse gas emissions such as planting trees.

While the details of a national scheme are still a way off, NSW farmers can currently provide offset credits to buyers under the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme.  Many voluntary schemes also exist such as Landcare’s CarbonSMART that pays farmers for planting and maintaining trees on private land.

Soil management offset credits are only as far away as the creation of a system that can verify these credits. 

If Australia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol, Australian farmers will have access to a worldwide market of buyers for farmers’ carbon offsets.

Check out www.carbonsmart.com.au  and get carbon farming!

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