An irrigated cotton project involves reducing emissions from the production of cotton in areas where irrigation is used. The main sources of emissions from irrigated cotton farming are synthetic nitrogen fertilisers and green manure. Green manure is any legume crop planted between cotton crops without harvest to improve the soil and reduce the amount of fertiliser needed for the subsequent cotton crop.
An irrigated cotton project can therefore help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere by reducing synthetic fertiliser use while maintaining or increasing yield, or by increasing yield without a proportional increase in fertiliser use. The overall reduction in greenhouse gases as a result of a project is termed ‘abatement’.
The emissions avoided by the project are calculated by subtracting the emissions generated during the project from those generated in a defined period before the project began. The difference in emissions before and after the project is the net abatement, which is used to apply for ACCUs.
Due to the exponential nature of emissions produced above a certain level of nitrogen fertiliser applied, cotton growers who currently use large amounts of fertiliser can achieve good levels of abatement by making only moderate reductions in fertiliser use.
To conduct an irrigated cotton project and earn ACCUs, make sure you read and understand the method and other legislative requirements. To do this, you will need to:
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.