It’s not my fault! Said the carbon atom

Said the carbon atom to humanity, “I’m the building block of all life and you have abused me.”

Imagine you were a carbon atom (well you are, but bear with me). What would you say about our carbon climate challenge?

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT,” is what I might say.

I know all we ‘regenerative’ types understand this, but I was inspired anew by a recent ABC doco Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography. It’s brilliant – you can watch it here.

As the program says, carbon will be around far longer than humans. And by overwhelming Earth’s ability to cool the atmosphere, we humans have a climate challenge.

However, every cloud has a silver lining, and the carbon markets have the potential to allow regenerative agriculture and associated actions such as biodiversity increase to help reverse the harm. The trick has been to find ways to reward farmers such that the volume of uptake is large enough to make a difference.

In Australia we have been bold enough to make a start on carbon farming for carbon trade market. It took many years as there are numerous rules that have been wrapped around these issues which make it difficult to formulate a simple method.

Despite this, the Australian Carbon Credit Unit (ACCU) market is worth around $3 Billion.

But it’s not perfect. There is much debate about the complexities/costs of implementation, especially in agricultural methods.

Therefore, the government recently commissioned a complete review of the ACCU system. Chaired by Professor Ian Chubb AC, there were several recommendations as a result and the government has accepted all of them.

For those of us with the on-the-ground understanding of, and a passion for, the best ways to increase carbon in our soils and vegetation, perhaps the most important will be Recommendation 5.

This recommendation is about HOW the methods to earn an ACCU are developed.

This recommendation says, in part:


“Establish a transparent proponent-led process for developing and modifying methods as soon as practicable. with the CAIC assuring the integrity of methods and the Department providing support for participants who otherwise may not be able to participate.


Did you hear that? EVOLUTION here we come!

Basically, there will be a mechanism set up (perhaps with funding) that will allow ‘proponents’ (yet to be defined) to develop methods.

So, if you/your group/organisation or other structure puts in the time and effort to understand some of the underlying rules to ensure the integrity of the method, you will be able to present it for consideration to become a mechanism to reward farmers/landholders to store CO2.

But wait, there’s more… Think international linkages now. The push for methods to go global is increasing. Don’t get left behind! Think access to international markets.

By July – conference time – there will be more clarity around HOW this will work. We will report on all the latest. Already I’m hearing about some amazing methods being developed, but I can’t reveal them right now…

Here is my challenge to all ambitious regenerative minds:

If you were to build a method by which farmers could be paid to store carbon in soils or vegetation, what would it look like?

This is a genuine intention of the government to solve the issues around complexity and the fact that many worthy activities are not yet able to be credited.

You/your organisation will need to engage in the detail if you are to be enabled by this process. The conference will be the hot bed of all new activities in the space. Get ahead of the game.

In the meantime, let me know what ideas you have been sitting on – what activities would YOU like to see in a method?

I have experience in and knowledge of the method rules and can give you feedback on the suitability of your ideas. AND I’ll be bringing you some new innovations that I hear about as we get closer to the conference. And by the way, registration is OPEN NOW! A new era dawns.





Want to improve your land AND earn carbon credits?
Find out how to do that and much more at the inaugural

Nature-Based Solutions Conference & Expo

Monday 17–Wednesday 19 July 2023