Carbon sequestration and carbon offsets
Carbon sequestration is the process of removal and storage of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in carbon sinks (such as forests, woody plants, or soils).
Sustainable land and water management practices are a key way to encourage carbon sequestration. In South Australia, such practices include:
- revegetation of cleared land with environmental plantings to provide ecosystem services such as biodiversity, soil protection and reduced salinity
- encouraging the use of woody crops in plantation forestry and farming landscapes (e.g., farm forestry and shelter belts)
- managing annual cropping and grazing practices in ways which retain more carbon in soil
- regenerating native vegetation in conservation areas, farms and pastoral regions and coastal environments.
Under the Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), administered by the Clean Energy Regulator, certain carbon sequestration projects can create accredited carbon credits which can be used to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon credits can also be sold to buyers seeking to offset their carbon emissions, creating revenue for the seller. Projects that sequester carbon can also:
- create new jobs and additional investment in regional communities
- improve farm productivity by changing land management practices
- generate environmental and social co-benefits.
Landholders and other project proponents can apply to the Clean Energy Regulator to register carbon farming projects under the ERF. The types of carbon farming projects include: increasing soil carbon storage, reducing livestock emissions, planting and regeneration of native forests, reforestation and tidal restoration (blue carbon projects).
Contact the Australian Government for guidance on how to undertake a carbon farming project.
Carbon Farming Roadmap
The South Australian Government has released a Carbon Farming Roadmap aiming to unlock opportunities and increase participation in carbon farming projects in South Australia.
The Roadmap will guide government and the private sector in South Australia as they work together to raise awareness of carbon farming, address risks and challenges, develop knowledge and skills, and take advantage of this new and evolving industry.
Contact the Department for Primary Industries and Regions for more information at SA.CarbonFarmingRoadmap@sa.gov.au
Eligible Interest Holder Consent requirements for carbon farming projects on Crown land
For any carbon farming project that is located on Crown land in South Australia (including pastoral leases), the project proponent needs to seek consent from the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, as the owner of the land. This will involve submitting an Eligible Interest Holder consent form to the Clean Energy Regulator. Information on the process for seeking eligible interest holder consent is provided by the Clean Energy Regulator.
The Department for Environment and Water can assist you with applications for the Minister’s eligible interest holder consent. Contact the Department for Environment and Water for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carbon farming projects on pastoral Lease
For South Australian pastoralists wanting to undertake a carbon farming project on their pastoral lease, please refer to the Application to conduct a Human Induced Regeneration carbon farming project on a pastoral lease in South Australia form. This form outlines the steps for seeking any approvals under the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act 1989, and seeking the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water’s Eligible Interest Holder consent.
Contact the Pastoral Unit of the Department for Environment and Water for more information about carbon farming projects on pastoral land at DEW.Pastoral@sa.gov.au.
Carbon Planting Guidelines
The Carbon Planting Guidelines package contains a range of spatial data layers, summary maps and reports to assist South Australian landholders, industry groups, organisations and individuals to understand the potential environmental risks and opportunities of carbon planting in South Australia. The information products provide context to landscape-scale planning and are not intended for use at the local or property-scale.
The Goyder Institute for Water Research - carbon sequestration research projects
The Goyder Institute for Water Research Institute has conducted research, supported by the South Australian Government, to address climate change including through sequestering and storing carbon.
Find out more: Goyder Institute
- The Australian Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund website provides information on all aspects of undertaking carbon offset projects.
- The Carbon Market Institute, the peak body representing Australia’s carbon industry, has several fact sheets and reports on carbon farming and carbon market opportunities.
- The Carbon Industry Code of Conduct defines industry best practice for carbon service providers, project owners, agents, aggregators and advisers in Australia’s carbon industry.