A plan for carbon sequestration through insetting on Phillip Island

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Purpose of this document:

  • To describe a localised Phillip Island Carbon Insetting scheme and the four distinct roles that will be undertaken by organisations involved.

Objectives of the scheme:

  • Promoting carbon farming practices for the benefit of farmers and for mitigating climate change impacts
  • Facilitating the buying and selling of carbon between local buyers and sellers
  • Developing a carbon insetting scheme that operates transparently and with integrity
  • Inspiring people to inset their emissions locally and buy more local produce

Groups involved to date and their proposed roles:

  • Phillip Island Landcare Group supporting carbon farmers to produce and sell carbon
  • Totally reNewable Phillip Island promoting the carbon insetting opportunities to buyers
  • Bass Coast Landcare Network providing a buying and selling platform
  • Westernport Landcare Network monitoring and verifying carbon stocks

Potential buyers

  • Householders insetting their car, household or lifestyle emissions
  • Buyers of local produce wanting to inset their emissions
  • Local businesses wanting to inset their emissions

Description

Sequestering carbon is of vital importance as the legacy load of carbon in the atmosphere is so great we need to pull it out of the air and into soil and vegetation if we are to avoid further global temperature increases and runaway climate change.

Carbon Insetting is the process of subsidising the cost to farmers of carbon sequestration within a supply chain or localised setting. For example, people and businesses that buy produce from Bimbadeen Farm pay $20/tonne of carbon to balance their emissions profile.

A Phillip Island Carbon Insetting scheme will provide local people with opportunities to sequester carbon by paying local farmers to grow carbon, in the soil or in vegetation.   Local people will be able to buy carbon dioxide equivalent to their carbon emissions directly from farmers who actively grow carbon and have excess stored carbon for sale above and beyond their own farm emissions.  Where farmers supply produce to local outlets, these will be strongly promoted to strengthen insetting idea.

Benefits

The sale of carbon will provide a small subsidy for farmers to adopt farming practices that capture and grow carbon in the soil or in vegetation.  These practices help create more resilient farming systems by, for example improving water holding capacity in the soil, which is increasingly important in a hotter and drier climate.  This scheme will also support local supply chains by promoting where you can buy and sell local produce.

But there are set-up costs when changing to carbon farming practices.

We can subsidise these costs of adopting carbon farming practices incurred by farmers by insetting our emissions in local farming systems.  When we do this we will be helping to mitigate climate change whilst supporting farmers to improve soil and farm health, create better farm environments, generate healthier produce, better revenues and improve viability of local farms.

 

Roles of each group elaborated upon

Phillip Island Landcare Group working closely with farmers to:

  • Supporting and enabling adoption of carbon farming practices through field days, securing funding for trials, producing practice notes to on carbon farming practices
  • Promoting the benefits to farmers, including financial, environmental and social
  • Demonstrating how to measure farm emissions and keep records of carbon stocks

Farmers

  • Look at historic soil tests to establish a baseline of carbon levels
  • Create a farm emissions profile
  • Choose appropriate carbon farming practices for their farming system
    • A paddock or paddocks put aside
    • cropping
    • rotational grazing
  • Undertake regular soil testing to monitor soil carbon stocks and use appropriate methodology for measuring/monitoring carbon in native vegetation

Totally reNewable Phillip Island

  • Create a whole-of-Island emissions profile
  • Account for the changes in emissions over time
  • Support promotion of carbon insetting opportunities for buyers and sourcing the buyers

Western Port Landcare Network

  • Undertake monitoring of farm carbon stocks (every 2 or 3 years, cost dependent)
  • Issue verification of carbon stocks available for sale in the form of a certificate

Bass Coast Landcare Network

  • Create and manage the platform for carbon buyers and sellers, including a transparent process for managing these transactions
  • Produce an annual statement to show carbon available for sale each year
  • Issue certificates of purchase to buyers
  • View sellers verified certificates
  • Support promotion of carbon insetting opportunities for buyers and sourcing the buyers

 

Things to consider and decide upon

Carbon buying and selling platform

  • Will the buyers & sellers be revealed to each other or remain anonymous?
  • What size or amount of units will be available to buy or sell?
  • Will we set price per unit, and review 6 monthly, or as market dictates?
  • Certificate or proof of purchase for the retail customer

Retail customers

  • Best to encourage doing own audit for home of small business to learn own emissions output so they know how much to buy.
  • Link from buying/selling platform to an emissions audit self-assessment

 

Plan for 2019

Phillip Island Landcare Group

  • Develop a plan for supporting more farmers to adopt new practices, including what level of subsidies might be available, doing a farm audit, designing trial of carbon farming practices, doing soil tests
  • Invite three more farmers in 2019 to begin new practice
    • David and Bhavani to work with committee to identify and talk to farmers and have an answer by March 2019

Farmers

  • Potential candidates include
    • Bill Cleeland, Ian McFee, Jenny and Barry Jackson, Helen Henderson, Alan Powell.

Totally reNewable Phillip Island

  • Design a way of illustrating farm emissions and inset values to produce nett amount for sale on a DL size postcard
  • Host an annual promotional event to sell carbon credits for the new year post soil test
  • Co-promote with Landcare the opportunities for people to buy/sell carbon through-out the year

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