The scheme enables WA farmers to be paid when they
increase their soil carbon. The pilot program is the first of its kind
in the Southern Hemisphere.
will allow WA Northern Agricultural region and south coastal region
farmers to register up to four 20ha so-called Defined Sequestration
Areas (DSA) on any portion of their properties.
The area will
soil tested each year for an initial three-year period.
paid $90/tonne annually and retrospectively for the increase in their
soil test involves taking 110cm cores for testing and a 0.15pc increase
in soil carbon would be equivalent to adding 23.1t/ha of carbon,
earning a healthy $21.19/ha per year.
aware from soil tests that a good organic carbon measure is a sign of
increase soil carbon would have two beneficial effects.
concept of using soil as a carbon sink has not been accepted on an
official level, even though it is potentially the largest sink in the
world that can be easily accessed by direct human action.
traditional forms of agriculture result in a loss of soil carbon, and
it would seem that an acceptance of soil as a carbon sink would also
require the carbon loss to be included in Australia’s greenhouse
The scheme is
of a private arrangement between Carbon for Life and Rio Tinto Coal,
which will provide funding for the initial three years of the trial.
Jones said under the current pilot project, one landholder can have up
to four DSAs on their property if they would like to experiment with
different soil building techniques to a maximum of 80ha.
would only require a 1pc increase in soil carbon on 15 million hectares
of land to sequester 8GT of carbon dioxide in the soil, which is
equivalent to the greenhouse emissions for the entire planet,” Dr Jones
sequester this carbon at the rate of $25/t of carbon dioxide would cost
like a lot of money but in the corporate world, it is peanuts.
a mere $200b, we could reverse global warming in a matter of years and
markedly improve soil productivity at the same time.
money — it’s about managing money to manage the carbon cycle — for the
future of us all.”