ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Carbon Farming - Storing Carbon in Soils, Vegetation Offsets Emissions

Updated on November 15, 2016
janderson99 profile image

John uses scientific (Ph D, Zoology) & research skills to develop reviews & guides for climate change, global warming, environment, water

Australia's Policy for a Clean Energy Future, that started with a Carbon Tax of $23 a tonne and transitions to an Emissions Trading Scheme after 3 years. The plan had four pillars:

  • a carbon price;
  • renewable energy;
  • energy efficiency; and
  • Carbon Farming (Land Use).

The plan also shows how the Australian Government was supporting Australian businesses, households, and communities to transition to a clean energy future. A carbon tax of $23 a tonne will be imposed on the 500 worst polluters with more than 50 percent of the funds being paid to the community to compensate for the increased cost of electricity and other costs. Fuel is exempt. The Australian Government has set targets of 5 percent below 2000 level by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

Carbon Farming

Carbon Farming

Australia aims to partially offset its emission by promoting schemed to increase the amount of carbon stored in vegetation and soils but has not set a target in terms of the increase amount of carbon it aims to store in this way. The current policy it based on delivering outputs and not on outcomes. It is akin to throwing money at the problem and hoping something will be achieved.

---------------------------------------------------------------

What Australian Needs is a Soil Carbon Accounting System and an Outcome Based Policy

(What the Australian Government SHOULD do)

Proposed Strategy and Objective: To establish an Independent Carbon Farming Accounting and Management Authority and invest to increase the net amount of carbon sustainably stored in vegetation and soils on the continent of Australia to offset carbon emissions and help meet overall emission targets.
[Note this does not include subterranean carbon sequestration from burning coal etc.].

Proposed Outcome: To increase the net amount of carbon stored sustainably in vegetation and soils on the continent of Australia by 160 m tonnes per year by 2030 and 310 m tonnes by 2060 using investments from Australia and overseas. Note the amount are indicative but probably realistic.

As well an overall outcome Australia needs to establish outcomes for each of the components that can be used to store carbon, stop leakage and reduce emissions from livestock, farm practices, and land-fill waste. Note: Agricultural carbon is not included in the carbon tax and is unlikely to be included in the ETS for the time being.

Sub-Outcomes (What Should be Done)

Carbon Farming Accounting and Management Authority
Establishment of the Carbon Farming Accounting and Management Authority, that would monitor the net carbon account for vegetation and soils on the continent of Australia. This would be used to instantaneously track the amount of carbon stored. This authority would set the outcomes for the various components, invest in outputs and monitor the total carbon balance to ensure the annual targets are being met to achieve the outcomes. The authority would also manage the investments from the Australia Government and overseas sources and conduct audits to guarantee outcomes and manage credits. Payments would be made for each tonne of carbon which is stored or for the area of land set aside for sustainably storing carbon, or emission reduced through farming and land management. An ongoing Carbon Farming Futures R&D program will provide research and development. The feasibility of a farming carbon trading market would be examined using an auction or Ebay system where buyers could bid for carbon storage offers from private property owners and other land managers as part of an emissions trading scheme. Australia has the potential to attract huge investments from overseas polluters wanting to offset their carbon emissions.

Soil Carbon Storage and Soil Management
To increase the net amount of carbon stored in soils by 15% of the overall outcome.
Outputs

  • Increase carbon storage in agricultural soils via management
  • Reduced soil loss and erosion
  • Soil conservation
  • Payments to farmers for long term storage in soils

Forests
To increase the net amount of carbon stored in forests by 25% of the overall outcome
Outputs

  • Reforestation
  • Reduction in Deforestation
  • Native Forest Protection and Management as Carbon Stores
  • Grave Yarding of Carbon in Forest and timber products to allow harvesting without contributing to emissions.
  • Changes in Forest Management for Managing Carbon Stored in Forests

Farm Management
To increase the net amount of carbon stored in vegetation and soils by changing farm management practices and increase storage by 10% of the overall outcome
Outputs

  • Reduced pollution from burning of stubble and crop residue
  • Reduced pollution from rice cultivation
  • Reduced fertiliser pollution
  • Manure management

Revegetation (Public, Indigenous and Private Land)
To increase the net amount of carbon stored through revegetation on private land by 15% of the overall outcome and public land by 10%.
Outputs

  • Carbon storage Stewardship programs
  • Payments to farmers to set aside part of their properties for revegetation and to manage the carbon stores
  • Carbon Credits and Trading System
  • Revegetation of public lands and management for carbon

Livestock and Farm animals
To decrease the amount of methane released by domestic animals by 5% of carbon equivalents of the overall outcome.
Outputs

  • Reduced methane emissions from livestock digestion
  • Control of pest animals

Burning Regimes
To decrease the amount of carbon released via burning regimes by 5% of the overall outcome.
Outputs

  • Savanna fire management and other burning regimes

Reducing Leakage and Increase Carbon Grave Yarding
To decrease the amount of carbon released via leakage by 10% of the overall outcome. Increase the grave yarding of carbon.
Outputs

  • Control leakage from the carbon stores through bush fires and composting of wood products
  • Increase the grave yarding of carbon stored in timber and other sources.
  • Phase out burning of wood for space heating
  • Ensure that burning of biomass such as burning of trash for power generation has a net gain in terms of carbon storage and reduced emissions via offsets.

Urban Waste Management
To decrease the amount of methane released from urban landfill waste by 5% of the overall outcome.
Outputs

  • Reduced pollution from legacy landfill waste.

Conclusion:

Australia needs a policy based a Carbon Accounting System and a set of OUTPUTS as goals for long-term NET storage of carbon in soils and vegetation.

----------------------------------------------------------

© janderson99-HubPages

© 2011 Dr. John Anderson

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • janderson99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Dr. John Anderson 

    5 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

    Good point!

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)