New growth for the carbon farming industry in Queensland
THE expanding carbon farming industry is creating new jobs and economic opportunities as it helps Australia meet its climate change commitments.
In Queensland a report by Energetics stated that carbon farming could be worth up to $8 billion to the state economy by 2030, depending on policy and market settings.
Carbon farming earns income for landholders via changes in land management which store carbon in soil and vegetation. This generates tradeable carbon credits that allow government and organisations to meet their legal obligations or their social responsibility goals on the voluntary market.
“This country has been cleared three times in the past and essentially we’re getting paid not to clear it again,” central Queensland cattle farmer James Henderson said.
“With the extra shade you don’t have the massive variance in the soil temperature, so the grasses handle the heat waves and frosts better.
“If we can extend the growing season a month either side of peak summer conditions that adds a lot to our bottom line.”
Demand is growing for domestic and international carbon credits and offsets.
Already the Australian Government’s $2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund has paid out $396 million, committed $1.9 billion with $150 million remaining. The bulk of these funds have gone to carbon farming.
The Queensland Government’s new
$500 million Land Restoration Fund when established will deliver important co-benefits to carbon farming including improved soil health, biodiversity, water quality and landscape health.