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The Clean Energy Regulator has made it easier for farmers and landholders to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
You can now diversify your income and help Australia reduce its emissions by planting trees on your land.
Environmental Plantings Pilot
If you have answered yes to these questions, the reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings method
may be suitable for your business.
A reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings project involves establishing and maintaining vegetation such as trees or shrubs on land that has been clear of forest for at least 5 years. You can plant either a mix of trees, shrubs and understory species native to the local area or species of mallee eucalypts.
The project helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere, because carbon is stored in the trees as they grow. The carbon stored in the trees, shrubs and debris (dead plant material) on site is called the carbon stock, while the term abatement refers to the overall reduction in greenhouse gases as a result of a project.
The carbon stock held in the project's trees, shrubs and debris is calculated using a computer modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM). The net amount of abatement during a project's reporting period is then determined by subtracting emissions due to fires and fuel use from the amount of carbon stock. The resulting net abatement for the project can then be used to apply for Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).
As a sequestration activity, that is, an activity that stores carbon in vegetation or soil, a reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings project is subject to a 'permanence obligation'. This means the project must be maintained 'permanently' (for a nominated period of either 100 or 25 years).
The Clean Energy Regulator develops variations to methods for a range of reasons including:
Methods being varied or methods under review are published on the
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) website and our
method consultation page.
method variations page provides additional information about how a method variation might affect an existing project.
You must read and understand the method and other legislative requirements to conduct a reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings project and earn ACCUs. This includes:
The quick reference guide provides basic information about eligibility criteria and obligations that must be met to earn ACCUs from a reforestation by environmental or mallee plantings project. It includes links to the legislation but should not be viewed as an alternative to reading the full legislative requirements.
Twenty-five years – The crediting period is the period of time a project can apply to claim Australian carbon credit units (ACCUs).
Find this part in the latest version of the Act:
There are general eligibility requirements in the Act, which include:
Projects can be run in any area of Australia with FullCAM modelling data, and plantings must be established on land that has been clear of forest cover for at least 5 years previously.
Part 2 of the method requires that specific information is included in a project application before the project can be considered eligible. You should ensure you refer to this part and provide all the required information.
Find these sections in the latest determination of the Method:
A project involves establishing and maintaining vegetation such as trees or shrubs on land that has been clear of forest for at least the last 5 years. This can be either a:
Trees can be planted as either seeds or tubestock, in rows or randomly, and in areas that are either linear belts or blocks. They must be planted at a density that will allow them to achieve forest cover, which means they must have the potential to reach a height of at least 2 metres and provide crown cover over at least 20% of the land.
You must identify the area in which your project will occur using the Long Term Average Rainfall Map Layer and the
Carbon Farming Initiative Mapping Guidelines. The area is then divided, or stratified, into a combination of two different zones:
project activities for more information.
Find these parts in the latest determination of the Method:
Find these parts in the latest determination of the Method:
Abatement is calculated using a computer modelling tool called the Full Carbon Accounting Model (FullCAM).
FullCAM uses a variety of settings, called calibrations, to model the amount of carbon stored in different types of plantings. Schedule 1 in the method explains that plantings can fall under either a range of specific calibrations or a generic calibration.
The data used as inputs to FullCAM include:
A full explanation of how to use FullCAM to model the amount of carbon stored by your project can be found on the
Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) website.
The net amount of abatement is determined by subtracting emissions due to fires and fuel use from the amount of carbon stored in the project's trees, shrubs and debris (dead plant material).
A guide to the 2020 FullCAM – transition arrangements for information on which version of FullCAM must be used for your project.
In addition to the reporting requirements of the Act and the Rule, Division 5.4 of the method also sets out method-specific requirements for the first and subsequent reports. The information you are required to provide includes:
Find this part in the latest version of the Rule:
Find this part in the latest determination of the Method:
In addition to the general monitoring requirements of the Act, Section 5.3 of the method describes specific monitoring requirements. These include using on-ground observation and/or remote-sensing imagery to:
In addition to the record-keeping requirements of the Act and the Rule, Division 5.3 of the method describes specific record-keeping requirements. These include keeping records related to:
Relevant section of the Act:
Relevant section of the Rule:
Relevant section of the Method:
All projects receive an audit schedule when the project is declared and must provide audit reports according to this schedule. In most cases, a minimum of 3 audits will be scheduled and additional audits may be triggered. Certain environmental projects are eligible for alternative assurance arrangements and zero scheduled audits if they opt in to meet and maintain the eligibility criteria outlined in the Audit Threshold Instrument (ATI). For more information on the audit requirements, see
the Rule, the ATI and
To ensure the required level of accuracy of the inputs to FullCAM for calculating carbon stock, it may be necessary to seek assistance from a technical expert. You should consider the cost of this service before deciding to run a project.
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.