Greg Combet

Australian Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, has issued the first guidelines for the Carbon Farming Initiative, designed to facilitate the sale of carbon credits on the domestic and international market.

Under the Carbon Farming Initiative, farmers and landholders will earn carbon credits that can be sold on a voluntary market to companies wanting to offset their carbon emissions.

To qualify for carbon permits, projects must cause abatement that would not have otherwise occurred. The abatement must be permanent, it must not cause additional emissions elsewhere and the claimed amount of carbon stored must be based on conservative estimates.

Potential eligible abatement activities include:

  • Revegetation, reforestation and avoided deforestation;
  • Reduced methane emissions from livestock;
  • Reduced fertiliser emissions;
  • Soil carbon;
  • Savanna fire management and
  • Reduced emissions from rice cultivation.

The new carbon trading scheme for farmers and landholders will begin operation on July 1, 2011.