The doorway to Carbon Credits?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The first methodology for soil carbon sequestration under the Carbon Farming Initiative was submitted at the Carbon Farming Conference on the 6th Anniversary of the start of the campaign by the Carbon Coalition for soil carbon credits.

The Methodology – developed by the Bridge Consortium (Carbon Farmers of Australia, Offset Generation Services and Object Consulting) – operates entirely within the CFI Legislation and is designed to circumvent the oft-quoted ‘uncertainties’ of soil carbon by using buffer pools and menus. For instance, Additionality is addressed by offering a program for renewal of vegetation in line with the Positive List and requiring participants to choose two or more additional practices or products from a long menu. 

The variety of combinations satisfies the ‘common practice test’ in most cases. The Measurement challenge is answered by reducing the uncertainty around direct sampling using a 90% certainty interval and by extending the Government’s own 5% ‘risk of reversal’ buffer into a Project Buffer which requires the participant to “bank” a tonne of CO2 for each tonne they trade during the first 5 year period. Thereafter both carbon buyer and grower are protected by the collective Program Buffer Pool that aggregates risk management and balances impacts across climate zones. This reduces the grower’s exposure while increasing buyer protection. 

Relinquishment provisions follow the CFI Legislation with the additional benefit that a Program Buffer Manager may accept a relinquishment responsibility entirely on behalf of a grower.  This allows the added security of protection for all concerned coming from a balanced pool of projects rather than from a single farmer or piece of land only.  Buffering and averaging of measured values over time are also included to solve the Permanence issue. An elegant solution.

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