New growth for the car­bon farm­ing in­dus­try in Queens­land

The Western Star - - RURAL WEEKLY -

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.

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