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With such a mix of information in the market around soil carbon farming, we’ve created some simple resources to guide you through.
What is carbon farming and what are the financial benefits?
Carbon farming refers to agricultural activities that contribute to reducing or abating the release of GHGs from the land and livestock, or increasing the carbon stored in the land through soil and vegetation. This can be achieved by planting trees, managing livestock, protecting native vegetation, managing bushfires and increasing soil carbon. Carbon farming creates carbon offsets which are currently valued at over AUD $30.00 each. 1 carbon offset/credit = 1 Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) = 1 unit or tonne of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (1 tCO2-e) avoided or removed from the atmosphere. Other financial benefits from carbon farming include increased primary productivity associated with more productive crops and pastures and faster growing livestock.
What’s an ACCU
The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is a Government fund setup to purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). It helps Australia meet its emission reduction targets. One ACCU represents 1 tonne of CO2 emissions avoided or sequestered. An ERF soil carbon project enables a producer to generate ACCUs and sell them to the Government, companies or private buyers. Projects generate ACCUs by implementing new eligible management practices that sequester carbon into the soil. One tonne of Soil Organic Carbon is equivalent to 3.66 tonnes of CO2.
What projects qualify
What is the emission reduction fund (ERF)? Do we have to be a part of it?
This is an opportunity for producers to make money by selling carbon offsets. Participation in the Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) is voluntary.
The $2.5 billion Emission Reduction Fund (ERF) was established by the Commonwealth Government in 2014. Its purpose is to purchase carbon offsets to meet the government’s international obligations, such as requirements of the ‘Paris Agreement.’
How soil carbon projects work?
Soil carbon is a part of the organic matter in soil. It comes from the breakdown of plants, microorganisms and animal waste material. A soil carbon project involves managing your land to encourage increases in soil carbon. Sampling your soil measures changes in soil carbon and provides you information about soil nutrition and health. Increases in measured soil carbon earns you carbon credits (ACCUs).
What information do I need to get started?
To get started we would like your property boundaries and information about your land-use from the last five years, i.e. cropping or livestock production and your average herd numbers. We can then determine your capacity to increase soil carbon by undertaking practice change activities listed in “What new activities qualify under the soil carbon methodology”.
What new activities qualify under the soil carbon methodology?
At least one of the activities listed below must be ‘new’ or ‘materially different’ from the previous 5 years so that more carbon can reasonably be expected to be sequestered.
What are the benefits of running a soil carbon project?
Increasing your farm’s soil carbon has several benefits for agricultural productivity and profitability including:
How many ACCUs can I expect to generate each year on my property?
Soil carbon sequestration rates vary by rainfall, practise change and soil type. CarbonLink™ will provide an ACCU forecast following a feasibility assessment.
How can I participate in an ERF soil carbon project?
CarbonLink™ makes it easy for producers to participate in soil carbon farming through the entire project cycle from introduction and orientation to eligibility and feasibility assessment followed by project registration then delivery of the project with annual reporting and issuance and sale of ACCUs to either the Commonwealth or a private buyer.
Are my farm records confidential?
Yes. All information is stored on a secure server. The only information made public are the number of ACCUs issued to the project, the location of the project and the project area in hectares.
How do I sell my carbon credits? What is the process involved and how long does it take?
CarbonLink™ will find a suitable buyer. The process takes approximately 3-5 years from project start to first payment. ACCUs will be issued each year for the duration of the 25 or 100-year project. ACCUs are an ASIC backed commodity and can be sold or held within an ACCU account known as the Australian National Register of Emission Units.
What are my commitments and obligations? Are there a minimum number of carbon credit units I must generate?
After commencing a soil carbon project you are required to undertake at least one new management activity for the duration of the project and at least maintain the carbon stocks present at the project commencement date.
If you sell your ACCUs directly to the Commonwealth by way of a carbon abatement contract (CAC), you are obliged to fulfill the contract to deliver “x” amount of ACCUs each year for a total of “x” multiplied by 25 years. In the highly unlikely event of falling short you must purchase the shortfall ACCUs and sell them. You also have the choice to sell on the spot market and do not have to enter supply contracts.
Where is the value when working with CarbonLink?
CarbonLink™ provide services from eligibility, feasibility, registration, land management strategy (LMS) documentation, soil sampling and analysis, offset reporting and ACCU + Co-benefit sales support.
Reviews of Land Management Strategy
Project Administration and Support
Measurement and verification
Sampling Intensity and Why it Matters
The ERF methodology requires a minimum of 9 cores per CEA. However, we believe a much higher sampling intensity for soil carbon projects is required to reduce variance and optimise the potential ACCU’s. By only completing the minimum number of cores per CEA, this results in greater variance or standard deviation of soil core sample results. The higher the variance, the less ACCUs that will be credited.
Understanding your soil carbon project
Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct
Native Title and Eligible Interest Holder Consent
We sample your soil at depths up to1500mm. This results in a more accurate and stable analysis of your soil carbon.
Business Development Manager Charlie Hawkins explains the basic principles of soil carbon farming.
Business Development Manager Charlie Hawkins explains what makes CarbonLink™ unique and innovative.
For every kilogram of beef produced on properties practicing regenerative agriculture, 50kg of C0₂ has on average been sequestered from the atmosphere into the soil. (Net of Methane)
We have a simple goal. To help 1000s of Aussie landholders make the most of their natural capital and financial assets while sequestering millions of tons of carbon by 2030.
The number of Australian landholders that will be working with CarbonLink™ by 2030.
The number of Project Hectares that CarbonLink™ will be advising on and working with by 2030.
The number of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) issued via our projects by 2030.