Go forth and generate Carbon Credits sayeth David Parker*
September 16, 2019 Louisa Kiely
* David Parker is the Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator (CER)
Interesting ‘updates’ and meetings concerning the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and the future of methods this week.
With the very small offering of credits at the last auction sending the CER a clear message of ‘make our engagement easier/simpler’ the CER is, in turn, sending messages that boosting the SUPPLY of credits is its highest priority.
YES, the message is getting through – FARMERS and others want the methods to be easier to engage with, and have decent abatement (carbon credit) potential. Less double-handling and better ways of auditing are also on the wish list.
However, before you get too excited, the CER is also looking at all the Non-Farm Carbon Credit methods AND has an implied ‘cautionary message’ for us – Engage or have the opportunity removed. You won’t find this in writing anywhere of course, but trust me, it’s there.
I’ve always maintained we need to engage to evolve this baby industry.
Also, as is customary with new Governments, and eternally confusing to those of us trying to get used to one system just as a new one comes in… The ERF will soon be rebadged as the ‘Climate Solutions Fund’ (CSF). What that means is still unclear, but it is clear that the CER has a clear mandate now to do what is possible to increase the SUPPLY of credits.
Further good news is that in the push for greater simplicity, the Soil Carbon method is an early contender for the CER.
Why wouldn’t it be, given that it’s the LARGEST carbon sink under our control?
So, expect a ‘guide’ on Soil Carbon projects soon. I can only wait with bated breath! I can report however that the CER is ‘consulting’ in good faith on these issues; having travelled to Canberra only last week to be part of said consultation.
Getting your project going
When acting as a Carbon Project Developer in the Soil Carbon and Tree Planting spaces, CFA is advocating undertaking projects in a staged approach.
So, as we said at conference, 100ha is a good amount to start with – CAN BE SMALLER or LARGER, but I feel strongly that we need to learn the lessons in the first project area. THEN after a year or two, ADD more areas (yes as separate projects). Things will have changed; we’ll have more knowledge AND importantly this will also EXTEND the income period from your projects. Cheaper to get started too.
CFA believes this to be a good risk/return formula, but go forth and ASK QUESTIONS of any of the Project Developer companies, or indeed set your project up yourself. CFA will assist you to find buyers, for sure, for sure.
As I said in my first radio interview about 14 years ago “This carbon job is here to stay”. Let’s make sure it does!