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Carbon trading mechanism under the carbon smart farming: opportunities, challenges and risk, an Australian Perspective
Louisa Kiely

Last modified: 2017-08-28


Louisa Kiely and Thakur Bhattarai


Australia is at the forefront of Carbon Smart Agriculture and farmers have been able to trade carbon as an Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) under various methodologies since 2013.

Trading occurs using scientifically and administratively  rigorous ‘methods’ which describe how changes must occur on farm to either reduce emissions or sequester carbon in soils or trees.

Farmers are currently able to earn an ACCUs from a number of determinations (over 30 methods have been approved) including a sequestering carbon in soils in agricultural systems such as cropping land, pasture and horticulture.


There is millions of tonnes of ACCUs already contracted to the Government under the Soil Carbon Method in the recent years. The fund has meant that over a billion Australian dollars have gone to farmers who are now paid to manage cropping and grazing soils, livestock and enable forest to re-grow. These Australian methods are now being exported to other countries and there is potential for these highly valued methods to be used internationally, which is a great opportunity for farmers and stakeholders. However there are a number of risks in the process from the start to claiming carbon credits, that needs to be greatly considered to be able to claim the carbon credits. This talk highlights the trading opportunity, challenges and concerns whether international farming communities and stakeholders can benefits from the Australian methods and the trading mechanisms.



Key words: Carbon trading, soil organic carbon, carbon credits, trading mechanism, markets



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