dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases contributing to
global warming and climate change. When carbon is removed from
the atmosphere and stored in the biosphere it is said to be sequestered.
Places where carbon is stored are called carbon sinks.
living things are part of the carbon cycle. Carbon
is continually turned over during the natural progression through
birth, growth, death and decay. Some of the carbon atoms in our
bodies at this moment would have been constituents of the plants,
animals and soils present on earth many millions of years ago.
People are around 18% carbon, wood is around 50% and the organic
matter component of soils is around 58% carbon.
people think ‘carbon’ they usually think ‘trees’,
but in reality 75% of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere is in
the soil. Healthy grasslands may contain over 100 times more carbon
in the soil than on it, making a well managed perennial ‘grass
ley’ the quickest and most effective way to restore degraded
of tons of organic carbon have been lost from agricultural soils
– and continue to be lost - through inappropriate land management
practices. For this and other reasons, agriculture is the second
largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia.
The ‘standing energy’ industries such as coal-based
electricity generation are the largest source.
credits are a financial reward for activities that reduce
the levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere. There
are a large number of different carbon trading
schemes in the world, some of which date back to as early as 1995.
A ‘carbon trade’ can simply be an agreement between
two parties. For the term ‘carbon credits’ to be used,
the emission reduction or biosequestration to which the credits
apply must be subject to verification by an accredited certificate
credit, as designated by an emission trading, emission reduction,
renewable energy or abatement certificate, represents one tonne
of carbon dioxide equivalent. Carbon credits for sequestration
are a type of offset trade and the carbon storage may be leased
or sold. Simply stated, the entity emitting the carbon buys registered
certificates and the entity sequestering carbon sells them (ie
receives money for carbon storage). A ‘trade’ occurs
when carbon credits are secured and then surrendered or acquitted
through an accredited carbon broker, carbon exchange or carbon
first government legislated carbon trade in NSW, valued at over
one million dollars, was registered in March 2005, between Forests
NSW and Energy Australia. The ‘carbon credits’ were
for carbon sequestered in hardwood timber plantations in northern
NSW. Trading in carbon is a multi-million dollar industry in Europe
and the United States. Forecasters have suggested that carbon
trading is poised to become the world’s largest commodity
market, generating financial innovation in hedge funds, futures
and derivates. The volume of trade under the European Union’s
Emission Trading Scheme (EU-ETS) exceeded all expectations in
the early part of 2005, leading to the recent launch of the European
Climate Exchange (ECX), the world’s first carbon futures
market. Carbon emissions are a global problem and credits for
both emission reduction and carbon sequestration are an important
part of the global solution.
carbon (such as humus) has many benefits in soils, making effective
carbon management the key factor for productive farms, revitalised
catchments and a greener planet. Carbon credits
for regenerative land management would help to ‘cash flow’
the multiple natural resource management and environmental benefits
that accompany increased levels of carbon in soils.