New carbon farming projects announced
Climate Friendly · 05 May 2016
77 new Australian carbon farming projects have been approved by the Clean Energy Regulator, which today released the results of the third Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Auction.
Leading project developer Climate Friendly secured contracts for its clients worth over $73 million when using the published average auction price.
These new projects will lead to over 7.1 million tonnes of carbon abatement over 10 years and will provide a secure new income stream for a significant number of farming families. This brings Climate Friendly's portfolio of projects with contracts under the first three ERF auctions to 28.5 million tonnes of abatement over the next ten years. This is equal to over $340 million in contracts being managed when using the Clean Energy Regulator's published average price of $12.1 across the three auctions.
Josh Harris from Climate Friendly says the auction results are great news for the sector. "We're helping Australian farmers and the agribusiness sector work towards both environmental and economic sustainability. The 10 year contracts awarded under the ERF scheme give farmers a level of financial security many have never had before."
Josh says that with the all signs pointing to a July 2 election and with shifting legislation around vegetation, the future of the Emissions Reduction Fund is uncertain. He says property owners who are sitting on the fence should act soon or risk missing out.
"Word has really started to spread in areas with established projects. Farmers are starting to see the benefits in action and are already looking for opportunities to expand their project areas. There is one more auction slated for later this year, but it's unclear whether the ERF will be topped up after that."
Five reasons to get into carbon farming NOW
1. More than two thirds of the Emissions Reduction Fund has already been allocated. By the end of the year it may all be committed, and there may not be more funds coming.
2. For many farming families, traditional livestock operations can no longer pay the bills. Carbon farming offers a secure income stream that can carry farms through difficult seasons or provide capital for expansion or upgrades.
3. Ten year contracts are virtually unheard of in the agriculture sector, and may never be seen again. This may well be a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure the farm business for the next generation.
4. Legislation around vegetation can change; the opportunity to be part of a carbon farming program is available now but may not always be.
5. The process is straightforward and Climate Friendly will support you the whole way, but it does take time. The sooner you start, the sooner you have money coming in from selling your carbon credits.
One farming family's experience
Sally and Dan Muenster of Congararra, near Bourke in NSW, took part in the second ERF Auction in November 2015.
Dan and Sally have three young kids and were looking for a way to build their enterprise and secure their future. They embarked on a carbon farming project that involved destocking cattle and sheep and management of feral goats to allow the native vegetation to regrow.
The income from their ERF contract has allowed them to purchase a second property so they can expand their farming business and provide a great lifestyle and future for their young family.
"Stories like this are why we love helping clients into carbon farming," Josh Harris says. "The additional income stream from carbon farming is changing lives. It gives farmers the opportunity to secure their business through drought, invest in upgrades or even expand their businesses."