Carbon Farming aims to maintain productive capacity while providing the opportunity to mitigate climate change by reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions, or capturing and storing carbon in vegetation or within the soil. Where possible, Carbon Farming projects should ideally be designed to ensure additional co-benefits, such as increased biodiversity outcomes and enhanced landscape function.
Carbon Farming can incorporate a number of land management practice changes, such as the introduction of no-till cultivation, maximising ground cover, stubble retention, biochar, agroforestry, manure and methane management of livestock, mulching, and controlled traffic farming (CTF). These activities may be carried out individually, or as part of an integrated whole farm plan. For more information on Carbon Farming, visit the Carbon Famers of Australia website.
The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) was a voluntary carbon offsets scheme that the Australian Government ran from September 2011 until it was integrated with the Emissions Reduction Fund in December 2014. After this time, existing CFI projects automatically became an Emissions Reduction Fund project. The CFI was initiated to provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and land managers, while also helping the environment by reducing carbon pollution. Landholders could develop abatement activities on their land and earn additional income from the sale of carbon credits to other businesses wanting to offset their own carbon pollution.
The current Emissions Reduction Fund provides incentives for emissions reduction activities and operates along side the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and energy efficiency standards, to reduce the growth of Australia’s emissions.
The Renewable Energy Target is an Australian Government initiative designed to reduce emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the electricity sector, while providing financial incentives for the generation of renewable energy – with the goal of ensuring at least 20 per cent of Australia’s electricity supply comes from renewable sources by 2020. Visit the Clean Energy Regulator website to find out more about the Renewable Energy Target.
Priorities for Carbon Planting in the NAR
As part of the Australian Government’s NRM Planning for Climate Change Fund, NACC undertook MCAS-S mapping to determine priorities for carbon planting in the NAR, as a tool for decision makers.