Journey to a Carbon Credit – Making it work for you

August 21, 2012 Louisa Kiely

BREAKING NEWS!

DINNER SPEAKER ANNOUNCED – THE HONOURABLE MP GREG HUNT

We are very pleased to announce that The Honourable Greg Hunt MP, Federal Member for Flinders and Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Heritage, has graciously agreed to speak at the dinner. His presentation, “Carbon Farming Initiative – the bipartisan view” will surely be a highlight of the event.
BRAVE NEW WORLD HERE WE COME! TREE PLANTING “METH” IN PRACTICE

As we have reported, in order to take part in the Carbon Farming Initiative and earn “carbon credits”, you need to follow an approved methodology. The first broadly applicable one is about planting a native forest. So, its time to get out in the paddock and “walk the talk”.

We have been active ourselves on farm, dutifully gathering data points on some marginal land we have. We have chosen an area where we will be able to “join” some remnant native trees, of which the big ones stand tall and harbour our birds of prey. But, truth be told, they are few and far between. It will be nice to see many more of them, as well as other species.

We are no genius at GPS, nor the Government’s “tools” they have so endearingly worked up for us all, so its hilarious as we navigate through all of this. Soon we will be experts!

Other steps required to put a project in:

  1. We have our “registered offset entity” application in.
  2. We are about to find out how much sequestration the Government estimates we”ll have, and we”ll get a “map” of the area.
  3. Next steps – Application for a “project”. More paperwork, but do-able.

We also have our interim Australian Financial Services Licence which enables us to continue to talk about the Carbon Credits in a trading sense. Watch this space for next installment!

GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS

Having spent the last 7 years working to see the eventuality of farmers being paid fairly for the carbon they grow, it is now time to work on our business model – ways we can work together with farmers and groups.

The most widely available method at the moment is the tree planting method – as we wait for the soil carbon and others to come on board. We feel it”s a good way to ‘put a toe in the water” and are backing that up by doing it ourselves!

We will have two levels of involvement:

  1. We will calculate an estimate of the carbon you could sequester in the tree method.
  2. If you decide you want to put a “project” in, we will offer a fee for service approach where Carbon Farmers of Australia will be the “authorised representative” and manage the paperwork and compliance, but YOU will keep your carbon right – which means when you get a Carbon credit issued you will be able to make the decisions about WHO to sell it to.

We also happen to have about 35 years marketing experience, so we have plenty of ideas on how to market these. Trust me, if you had an ACCU at the moment, you”d be in big demand.

More on that next newsletter, but please feel free to contact me if either of these are of interest. We are ready when you are.

CONFERENCE UP DATE: CONFIRMED SPEAKERS INCLUDE…

I”ve got to admit that I love conference time! Sure, the stress of making it the “best ever” is always present, but so many great things seem to come out of the wood work!

Lets talk “innovation” in soil carbon measurement, for instance. Did you see the piece on ABC News the other day? A couple of strong messages here. Things are happening in the measurement of soil carbon – as such, Terry McCosker will bring to the conference the latest data in this new “soil carbon mapping” exercise outlined in the ABC piece. How does it relate to “baselining” our soil carbon?

Terry McCoskerNot just Terry McCosker is on this job however – Our esteemed colleague Dr Brian Murphy will also be on hand to talk about how he cut through the challenges of measuring soil carbon for the Lachlan Market Based Instrument project – and how this method is now going through the “peer review” system so it can be considered for a “baseline” method as well. I’ve also invited Dr Jeff Baldock to hear how his work relates to the baselining for soil carbon. Fingers crossed on that one. I have one or two “cards up my sleeve” on this as well. If you know of anyone else with an innovation in soil carbon MEASUREMENT, please let me know!

Another big point in the article is the wonderful, the amazing, the incredible (drum roll)…  100 year rule.
Well, lets get this area out in the fresh air shall we? Lets talk about the 100 years!

  • Is it as bad as it sounds?
  • Are there alternatives?

We’ve looked at this contentious part of the CFI very carefully, given that it is one of the real brakes on uptake by farmers. Our understanding is that if you take it to 25 to 35 years, there are at least three consequences:

  1. The credits will not be very saleable overseas.
  2. You can”t sell them into the “compliance” market here or overseas (the $23/tonne market) due to the Governments commitment to Kyoto.
  3. The value of a 25 year credit could be quite low.

But, there are precedents. The Voluntary Carbon Standard is an overseas Standard accepted in our market. They have a 25 year project running in Tasmania at the moment. It’s a tree method, but not for planting trees. Rather for not knocking them down!

So, I’m on the track of some speakers who will be able to shed some light on the pros and cons. Perhaps we could have CHOICE for farmers. More than one type of credit; long term and medium term?

Stay tuned, get your registrations in early and we’ll get both sides of the story.

I am now so “tech savvy”, and there is always so much happening in this space now, you can keep in touch by following me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
For all the latest Conference news and to book your places now, please go to www.carbonfarmingconference.com.au. I am, as usual, your humble carbon servant and can always be reached on 02 6374 0329 or at louisa@carbonfarmersofaustralia.com.au.

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