Carbon Offsets

How does carbon farming work


Carbon farming involves managing vegetation, fire, soil or livestock to increase storage of carbon in our landscapes, or to avoid the release of damaging greenhouse gases, particularly methane and nitrous oxide.


Carbon farming activities can generate Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) when done in compliance with an emissions reduction method under a project registered with the Clean Energy Regulator. An emissions reduction method is a regulatory instrument (known as a methodology determination) that sets out the rules for how to calculate the carbon that is avoided or stored. The Clean Energy Regulator is a federal government statutory body responsible for administering Australia’s emissions reduction framework for renewable energy and carbon credits – ACCUs.


There are currently three broad categories of carbon farming or land sector approved methods:


  1. Agricultural methods: Storing carbon in soils; avoiding carbon emissions by minimising methane emissions from piggeries and livestock; avoiding nitrogen emissions from fertiliser use in irrigated cotton.
  2. Vegetation methods:  Storing carbon in vegetation through reforestation, revegetation; protecting native forest and vegetation that is at imminent risk of clearing.
  3. Savanna burning methods: Fire management practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and allow retention of more carbon in grasses and trees, e.g. cooler burns during winter months that selectively reduce vegetation in a mosaic pattern rather than hot late season uncontrolled fires that potentially devastate all vegetation.
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