Here comes the REALLY BIG Carbon Market

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Just been sitting at the carbon trading conference in Melbourne at the hallowed MCG, at the 3rd Australian Emissions Reduction Summit.

They concentrated here on the Paris Agreement, (the historical carbon agreement decided in Dec last year) and what that might mean for Australia and our emissions trading future. 

In Paris, there was consensus that the World needed to take such actions on Climate Change which will keep the world’s temperature rise below 2 degrees with an aspiration for it to be only 1.5 degrees.

There were very credible speakers at the conference from a variety of countries. And many countries ARE NOW engaged. 

The rest of the world IS moving and its up to us now to stamp Australia's authority on our ability to improve our soils via carbon sequestration, reduce agricultural emissions and provide to the market credible carbon credits – for Australia and for the world.

I’ve got 4 out-takes to share: 

1. The task to keep the world to less than a 2 degree temperature increase is BIG and will take ALL measures to achieve. Sequestration, emissions reduction and other responses.

2. Market mechanisms, or markets WILL form a very big ‘tool’ to achieve the goal.

3. Australia’s experience in the carbon market – courtesy of the Carbon Farming Initiative and the Emissions reduction fund means we have a well regarded supply of Carbon Credits (Australian Carbon Credit Units) . 

4. There is potential to export our credits in the future BUT – there is also the potential for International Units to come into our market. Its another case of making sure we have a decent market share! We must continue to stand up for “Australian Made” carbon credits.

So, the future is bright but, my friends, there is work to be done, as usual. 

For instance: We have a few ‘elephants in the room’ still - the cost of measuring soil carbon, the lack of decent abatement in the current methods is another.

So, its back to the politicians door for me - an election campaign may give a few opportunities to influence.

As ever, I'm on 02 6374 0329 - or email

Farmers remain the VIPs after Paris carbon conference

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Well, well well - Paris carbon meeting over, and everyone really happy it seems - I agree - and was especially great that 1.5degrees as an 'aspirational' goal was included - Remembering that the extremes of weather will increase for any further increases in temperature from here on in.

Quite a good summary here for Australia - Basically, the shake out for us will happen around the election - Will Turnbull be able to influence the coalition to do more, under pressure perhaps from the Labour Party, who are pretty sure they might lose and not have to implement the policy! However, as predicted, this industry ain't going away - ERF third round in April, perhaps one more before the election - A general movement away from using Government money and more towards a market mechanism where polluters pay, PLUS a new International Agreement means Australia and the world need Landholders more than ever. The world cannot meet the target without sequestration.

This was acknowledged in Paris and the Soil Carbon Space was NOT discarded. We joined with the French Government in an interesting program - which re-iterates that the soils of the world CAN DO the job. Just reduce the price of measurement and we'll show you what we can do. see here Watch this space

Making the most of the Low Carbon Economy in Regional Australia- Lets keep it up.

Monday, December 07, 2015
Good Afternoon! Couldn't help putting 'pen to paper' as there is so much to celebrate as Regional Australia takes its rightful place in the new Carbon Economy. Gave me a happy feeling! There is probably much more - let me know how you are entering this new space. We are natural leaders in this. Lets keep it up.

So, now in the Central West of NSW alone we have:
• At least $250 Million coming to the area in Government ERF Contracts signed and sealed - 10 years of income.

• The FIRST Carbon Neutral Winery -The Rose Hill Wine Group in Orange - more investment and understanding for the region - Want to drink a carbon neutral wine? Save the Planet while you enjoy a refreshing beverage?

• We have the FIRST Carbon Neutral Bulk Haulage Company -Transforce Bulk Haulage in Dubbo has invested to lead the way. Let your next load travel Carbon Neutral. Add nothing to the air!

• Orange City Council has a Registered ERF project. They will plant around 170 hectares of Native Trees and be paid to take the carbon out of the air with them.

•Orana Regional Development Australia is also fully engaged with their Orana Carbon Project. Ask me for details.

• NOW, to make it truly local - Rose Hill and Transforce could buy (on the secondary market) their offsets from the Orange City Council. Great, eh? We can do the 'keep it local' campaign in carbon offsets, very soon. Why not make it the first Carbon Neutral Regional Area?

• EG: Any other Council could also go carbon neutral - and buy local Australian Carbon Credit Units. OR take part in a method and provide their own credits.

There is so much more we can do.
WE can assist your farm/your Landcare group and/or your council to assess which current and upcoming methods may suit you so you too can take advantage of this new industry!

I'm on 02 6374 0329 - or email!

Onwards, to 2016 and beyond. (sorry - does that sound like a kids movie?)


Resortation of Mangroves, Seagrass meadows and Tidal Wetlands Join the Fray!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Good Morning!

For those of us who believe that only natural photosynthetic activity can keep the world to the now agreed 2 degree increase in temperature, and believe in the world's soils to do this, I'm really excited about this new method this morning.

Although I'm in the Land Sector, dealing mainly with assisting farmers to drought proof their properties while earning a carbon income, I grew up by the sea, and you don't need to drive too far to realise we are loosing our coast lines too.

Mangroves, tidal wetlands, sea grass meadows etc share the Farming Sector's ability to sequester carbon and take it out of the air. Its called 'blue carbon'. Guess what else? They will be able to claim increases in Soil Carbon!! and even plant trees. This will push this forward as well.

Now, I'm not across all the details, but here is the link

No, this is NOT an ERF method. However, I'd be willing to help anyone interested to take this to the Department of the Environment to put it up for approval - never -the -less you can still implement it and claim VCU's (Verified Carbon Units) for sale in secondary markets and Global Voluntary markets.

So, please pass on the information to any of your 'coastal' groups- Landcares or coastal farmers too.

Go the Land and Sea Sector and carbon abatement!

As usual, you know where to contact me on 02 6374 0329!



New PM, New method, New auction -YAY, we keep our minister!

Thursday, September 24, 2015
YAY, we kept our minister! Wow, now there was a week! Some danger, but wins for Land Sector as well:

• Go to bed with one PM, wake up with another!
FACT: Did you know- Malcolm Turnbull lost his leadership the first time because he was supporting the first Aust. Climate change policy? We now have reason for great hope. Here is a piece I recorded for the ABC earlier last week on the topic while in QLD click here to listen

• BIG win to keep our minister, who is a fan of the Land Sector and ‘gets it’ about our role. Turnbull is also a Land Manager. We must continue to lobby hard for improvements in our carbon farming methods. We have stiff competition from NON land sector. Qantas, Woolworths, State Departments now all bidding! Don' t let them get all the money!!

Meanwhile, ‘back at the ranch’, the registrations deadline for the next ERF auction are now past - But that's OK – there will potentially be another one in March/April of next year, and then after that, maybe a trading situation?

• In this regard we have assisted a transport company, a regional council and a QLD farmer beset by drought to have potential to be part of the solution under a potential ERF bid, or direct Marketing. But a project can be registered any time. Ask me how! It's a low risk entry strategy.

However, its now obvious we need to assist smaller players. Carbon Trading favours the ‘big parcels’ of land or carbon. Now we have competition from the NON land sector its even more important to ensure Carbon Trading has a benefit for a wide range of land based people.
We’ve been encouraging others to form 'aggregations', but due to some constant requests (as Malcolm put it) we are investigating our own ‘aggregation’ model. This would enable us to ‘band together’ like minded farms, with similar methods into a single bid - OR to have a Marketing model to offer to others.

Finally, there is A new beef herd management method available, which has potential to ‘smooth’ cash flow for beef producers doing a soil carbon or other sequestration method. It will reward those who can reduce the ‘carbon intensity’ of their beef herd – ie methane per kg beef produced .
So, for example, if you are improving soil carbon, producing more biomass above and below ground, AND your beef herd is finishing earlier as a result, you can earn a carbon credit for the reduction in methane.

Let me know if you’d like to be part of an ‘aggregation’ with Carbon Farmers of Australia, and I’ll be getting more information out as things shape up.

As usual, you know where to contact me on 02 6374 0329!



2030 Targets announced! ERF gets additional $2.4bill.

Friday, August 14, 2015
Hey there - Gosh, the news just keeps on coming. Due to the big Paris conference coming up in December, many countries are getting ready to take part and Australia needed to come up with its post 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets as we prepare to be part of the negotiations.

No matter what your views on climate change, this market IS going to develop and for the Land Sector not to disappear in favour of big companies we need to engage.

So, our new target is 26-28% reduction on 2005 levels by 2030.

There is not a lot of detail, except that Minister Hunt HAS said on the 7.30 report that the Government will be looking at $2.4billion in Addition to current levels over the 12 years from 2018 to 2030. So we just got more funding!

Let us not, just at the minute look at the elephant in the room - which would be - "If its going to take $2.4billion to achieve a 5% reduction (the current target and funding) , how will it only take $2.4 billion to achieve the higher target over a longer time period" As I always say about politicans 'we love youse all' as we work with what we are so graciously given!

Meantime, jump onto the webinars - get yourself in the race for a slice of this CURRENT round. It takes time to get your project organised, so now is the time.


Webinar One: Monday August 17th: 12 noon. - 1.15pm “Direct Action and the Emissions Reduction Fund- How does it all work? ”

Webinar Two: Wednesday 19th August 12 noon - 1.15pm.
“Which ERF method is best for me? - Choosing a method to enable participation in the Emissions Reduction Fund”

Webinar Three: Friday August 21st. 12 noon - 1.15pm.
“Apply to register a project Under the Emissions Reduction Fund - Application requirements, time lines”

Cost: $55 per webinar. OR 3 Webinars for $150.

REGISTER HERE NOW to secure your place.
SEE you then!

If you'd like an opinion on which methods you may be able to take part in, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone on 02 6374 0329.


Bingo! Emissions Reduction Fund: NEXT AUCTION DATE ANNOUNCED

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

As predicted here, and hinted at conference, the next round of the Emissions Reduction Fund is upon us! 

The actual auction will be held on the 4th and 5th of November. Don't forget however, that it takes time to put in your application for a project. AND to have it approved. 

The last date for projects to be submitted in full is the 18th September. That is a complete application, ready to be assessed. (Sometimes it takes a while from the first application to the final one). 

Just a quick reminder that for Landholders, potential project include: 

  1. Emissions reductions from the beef herd, and from improving fuel efficiency in mobile and stationary equipment. This includes tractors, trucks, irrigation pumps etc. There are specific emissions reduction opportunities for those with an irrigated cotton enterprise as well.
  2. Sequestration (or storage of carbon) in both trees and soils. There are a number of available methods for tree sequestration and two for soils.

$250 Million flowing into Western NSW doesn't have to be the end of the story. Your region can benefit as well - but to have your chance at a Government Guaranteed (yes, even if the Government changes) contract at a known price for the next 5-10 years, you have to engage.

We know not everyone could make it to the conference. So, we've decided to mount 3 one hour webinars to help get you up to speed. AND in time to then get your application in.


Webinar One: Monday August 17th: 12 noon. - 1.15pm
“Direct Action and the Emissions Reduction Fund- How does it all work?” 

Webinar Two: Wednesday 19th August 12 noon - 1.15pm.
“Which ERF method is best for me? - Choosing a method to enable participation in the Emissions Reduction Fund” 

Webinar Three: Friday August 21st. 12 noon - 1.15pm.
“Apply to register a project Under the Emissions Reduction Fund - Application requirements, time lines” 

Cost: $55 per webinar. OR 3 Webinars for $150

REGISTER HERE NOW to secure your place. 

See you then! 

If you'd like an opinion on which methods you may be able to take part in, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone on 02 6374 0329. 


NOW, get your projects registered!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
And so it came to pass. We did indeed deliver another great conference, with many comments about how the atmosphere has changed. No longer is trade in the future, its now.

As the Land Sector rises to its full potential for climate mitigation, surely there will come world wide understanding of the role we must play.

Meanwhile, as promised we explored the potentials for the next round of the Emissions Reduction Fund. What methods are available, and we even had the first figures from soil testing done in Qld.

Our Carbon Cocky awards recognised some amazing new people and enterprises as well. To see the finalists and winners click here

But, as explained, this is NOT a grant scheme and if you want to even 'have a go' at gaining a guaranteed Government Contract at a known price for 7-10 years, you need to plan your project and get it registered NOW. Just the approval process can take 90 days!

To this end, we are out and about helping people understand WHICH methods might suit them, taking the whole of farm carbon audit approach.

This is obligation free, as a high level assessment, but remember a couple of things:

1. If you are small it will only be cost effective to manage it yourself. Or join with a group.

2. The process takes time. You need to start planning now.

Slides from our excellent speakers can be seen here as pdf's.

If you'd like an opinion on which methods you may be able to take part in, please don't hesitate to pick up the phone on 02 6374 0329.




Monday, July 06, 2015
Good Morning!

On this wonderfully cool, clear morning, with the sun shining through the window, grab a cup of tea, sit quietly for 5 minutes, and lets imagine something:

  • There is a group of farmers, joined either in an NRM group, a soils group, landcare OR clients of perhaps a sheep or cattle stud. Like minded people. 
  • The leaders of the group realise that agriculture has a pivotal role to take in sequestration and emissions reductions. Climate Smart Agriculture is the future.
  • So, they decide to learn about the ERF - engage with a $2.55 billion fund for now AND for what will come in the future. They do this over a 2 day conference with all experts assembled, and are now in a position to move forward. To the future.
  • They decide to ask WHO in the group would like to take part in a Whole of Farm Carbon Audit - Which will show WHICH methods they could take part in - From Planting trees to Soil Carbon and emissions reductions. 
  • The size of group means they could have a very decent bid into the ERF, can take advantage of economies of scale, and secure an added income for the Group or for Marketing 'carbon credited' wool, beef, or other products. For up to 10 years.
  • As the group implement the projects, their soils improve, they provide more shade and shelter for stock and to prevent erosion, and they improve their diesel and other efficiencies. Cost efficiencies. 
  • They are also able to satisfy the growing consumer demand for transparency and welfare for food and fibre. A marketing edge. Helping clients help the climate
  • Win/win/win. Environmental, economic,social. This is why we believe in it. 

So, don’t think of this as just a one – off Yes, Government policy may come and go but this is a world wide issue and agriculture is integral to the solution. OUR reduction targets can only GO UP. The framework WILL remain -

Preparations for the conference are in place - for another great gathering of minds and education you can't get anywhere else! We are still taking registrations as we know farmers don't make decisions before they know what the weather will be next week!

You know the rest - Pick up the phone 02 6374 0329 and




Monday, June 29, 2015

Did you catch the media interest in climate change over last week? - It really does seem that this Government will need to take a bigger emissions reduction target to Paris, and beyond. 

This signals an on-going place for the LandSector. We certainly favour a market mechanism to be in place after the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF). 

There is resistance to this push for greater action within some in the Liberal Party and there is a call for a Inquiry into Climate Science. This would lead to delay at the very least.

As a result, some active Farmers have come forward to push for higher targets in regards to climate action. I have signed an open letter to the Liberal Party gathering to reject this notion. I urge you to sign it as well. See here 

ONLY sequestration in trees and soil take the existing carbon from the air and store it safely - improving productivity while they do so. Emissions reductions are important, but its the CO2 in the air from the last 80 years which is causing the damage. AND Farmers control 65% of the land mass!

But, we have treated the soil like dirt. Now is the time to give it back what it needs. 

As Michael wrote so long ago in song when he was inspired: “The Land needs a Lover whose loving convinces it to stay”. NO soil, no future. 

We believe the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is an immediate incentive to get started , and that more incentives will come. The prize with the ERF is a Government contract which can help to pay for efficiencies and other things.

We have a couple of complimentary polices to help with costs as well.

1.Green Army - We’ll talk about how you could get Green Army help to plant trees, do fencing etc. 

2.Immediate write off for fencing and other infrastructure. 

BTW - Michael will be giving the talk on OTHER Markets - How to sell Carbon Credits OUTSIDE of the ERF. We have 25 years experience in DIRECT Marketing. Its how we raised $100K to feed our sheep in the drought. He will take you through “Adopt a Farmer Fighting Greenhouse” concept and “Carbon Credited” wool /beef or other commodity.

You know the rest - Pick up the phone 02 6374 0329 and