The Carbon Farming Initiative

27 Feb 2012

The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is a carbon offsets scheme that will enable farmers and other land managers to access carbon markets. Farmers and land managers across Australia will now be able to generate extra revenue by undertaking actions like planting native forest trees in order to reduce carbon in the atmosphere.

The CFI creates a regulatory framework for the creation of carbon offsets called Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs). The program allows farmers and land managers to generate these carbon credits for taking action to store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The credits can then be sold to other people, businesses and individuals wanting to offset their carbon pollution or to meet their obligations under the Clean Energy Future legislation.

Until now, there has been no way for farmers or landholders to generate carbon credits and sell them into lucrative international markets. The CFI will open up new opportunities for Australian farmers and landholders to participate in international markets for carbon credits.

The CFI offers opportunities for farmers and landholders to take economic benefit for their carbon abatement activities and will provide a strong incentive to identify and implement low-cost methods to reduce pollution in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

The Carbon Farming Initiative has proposed that eligible forestry activities include:

  • Reforestation/Revegetation;
  • Improved Forest Management;
  • Reduced logging (sustainable forestry);
  • Enhanced forest growth (conservation/protection with input such as weed removal); and
  • Avoided Deforestation

Under the scheme, the Federal Government will help facilitate the sale of carbon credits on domestic and international markets. Farmers and landholders will benefit from a new income stream, and will also help the environment by encouraging sustainable farming and providing a source of funding for landscape restoration projects.

Participation in the CFI is voluntary; farmers and landholders can choose whether or not to be involved.

The agriculture and forestry sector currently accounts for around 23 per cent of Australia’s total pollution so the CFI represents an opportunity to significantly reduce Australia’s pollution levels.

For more information on the methodology and information on the Carbon Farming Initiative, visit the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website or the Clean Energy Future website.

Is your business ready for the introduction of the Carbon Tax? VECCI will be conducting a series of state wide briefings in April and May, contact VECCI Sustainability Services on 03 8662 5196 or visit the VECCI website for more information.


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