The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) will be inviting Expressions of Interest for their NEW $15M Carbon Farming & Land Restoration Program soon.
The Program aims to unlock the potential of carbon farming in the South West agricultural zone and enable rural businesses to establish carbon farming projects that deliver priority environmental, community and economic co-benefits. The program will include two funding streams:
1. ACCU Plus
DPIRD will pre-purchase Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) from carbon farming projects that deliver priority co-benefits, adding value to the credits.
Potential proponents planning vegetation projects eligible to register with the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and able to generate ACCUs are encouraged to apply. Potential proponents planning ERF soil carbon projects in low rainfall areas in the eastern and northern Wheatbelt are also encouraged to apply.
Those interested in an ERF carbon farming project need to consider ERF registration, establishing eligible interest holder consent (e.g. banks) and project planning (development approvals, budget, co-contributions, nursery and seed orders, site design and mapping).
Resources for ACCU Plus:
- The Climate Solutions Fund website explains the different project types, how to register with the ERF, the eligibility requirements and permanence obligations.
- LOOC-C will help you estimate the carbon sequestered by different methods. Additional functionality will be added over the next few months.
- Business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability by the Kondinin Group.
- If you are interested in a revegetation project, start a conversation with local nurseries to discuss your needs and how to do a planting plan.
“Understanding your soil carbon – simple method guide” outlines how to do a land management plan and the types of activities.
2. Future Carbon
DPIRD will provide grants for pilots and trial projects that deliver priority co-benefits and carbon sequestration, but do not meet the ERF registration criteria.
These projects will be innovative, improve soil health and contribute to the sustainability of agricultural practices. Activities with a mature research base, preferably with university or similar support, and the potential to become a new or amended ERF method will also be considered.
If you are interested in a Future Carbon project:
- Is it a method or activity that others are likely to take up (i.e. wide applicability, easy to adopt, not too expensive)?
- Can you estimate the carbon sequestered per hectare?
- How will you collect data and information to demonstrate its effectiveness?
Is this a potential new ERF method or an amendment to an existing ERF method?
Positive additional public benefits associated with the carbon sequestration activities will help determine which project applications are successful. Consider which of these co-benefits will apply to your project and how you will measure, monitor and report on them:
Eligible rural businesses and entities include:
- Not-for-Profit entities undertaking a project under commercial arrangements with the owner/s of a farm property or properties.
- Carbon farming developers undertaking a project under commercial arrangements with the owner/s of a farm property/properties.
- Commercial farm property owners.
Carbon Service Providers
Carbon service providers are private businesses, independent of government, who assist farmers and land managers to participate in the ERF. Carbon service providers offer a range of services, as outlined by the Clean Energy Regulator.
If you are thinking of establishing a project yourself, consider your level of expertise and the time commitment. You can use a carbon service provider for some or all aspects of a project.
Always seek independent legal and financial advice, and speak to a few providers before committing. A carbon service provider involved in a project funded through the Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program must be a signatory to the Australian Carbon Industry Code of Conduct.
More details will be released by DPIRD in the coming weeks. Subscribe to register your interest and receive email updates.