The Clean Energy Regulator is pleased to see Australia’s agriculture sector officially recognised at the inaugural
National Agriculture Day, Tuesday 21 November. The sector can take huge pride in knowing that, in the past twenty years, it has halved its greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean Energy Regulator Chair David Parker said it’s well known that agriculture makes a massive contribution to our economy. It contributes $60 billion and supports 1.6 million jobs from the city to the bush, and exports from agriculture are
forecast to increase by 8.3 per cent to a record $63.8 billion in 2016-17.
“It is less well known that the agricultural sector plays a large role in reducing Australia’s emissions through the Emissions Reduction Fund – a voluntary scheme that sits under Australia’s climate change policies and provides participants with incentives for reducing emissions,” Mr Parker said.
“In fact, almost 60 per cent of Emissions Reduction Fund projects are based in the land sector, and contracts worth more than $1.6 billion have been awarded for land sector projects since the $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund began in 2015. These contracts will deliver an estimated 135 million tonnes of carbon abatement.”
The fund works by issuing Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for every tonne of carbon emissions reduced or avoiding through the project’s activities. ACCUs can then be sold to the government under a contract or on the secondary carbon market.
Mr Parker said there are ongoing opportunities for others to be involved, with more than $360 million still available in the Emissions Reduction Fund.
“The Emissions Reduction Fund provides an important alternative revenue stream for many farming families located in remote and regional Australia. For example, projects might include altering feed to reduce the amount of methane produced by cattle, or avoided clearing of vegetation to store carbon in plants as they grow.
“We are seeing more and more take up of these systems in irrigation and on-farm processing, so it’s worthwhile thinking about the opportunities on your property,” Mr Parker said.
To propose a new project using Emissions Reduction Fund methods—including activities like improving energy efficiency and storing carbon in forests and soils—see the
Interactive Emissions Reduction Fund Questionnaire.
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The Emissions Reduction Fund’s incentive-based approach supports participants to lower energy costs and increase productivity, while at the same time reducing Australia’s emissions.
One ACCU is earned for each tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2-e) stored or avoided by a project. ACCUs can be sold to generate income, either to the government through a carbon abatement contract, or in the secondary market. Many emissions reduction activities deliver valuable co-benefits for businesses, farmers and the community. For example, businesses that install energy-efficient lighting and heating systems can benefit from lower energy bills.
The Clean Energy Regulator website includes information about a range of methods that help businesses, communities and farmers to plan and undertake projects. For more information see
Opportunities for the land sector. Potential participants can also complete the Interactive Emissions Reduction Fund questionnaire to help decide the best project to suit their circumstances.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.
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