Australia has introduced carbon farming legislation. The Carbon Farming Initiative is a carbon offsets scheme being established by the Australian Government to provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and landholders and to reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Australia is one of the developed countries that has already suffered the most from climate change, including major impacts on water. The Carbon Farming Initiative includes:
- Legislation to establish a crediting mechanism;
- Fast-tracked development of methodologies for offset projects; and
- Information and tools to help farmers and landholders benefit from carbon markets.
Offset projects established under the Initiative will need to apply methodologies approved by the Government. These will contain the detailed rules for implementing and monitoring specific abatement activities and generating credits under the scheme.
The Australian Government is working with industry and other stakeholders, state government officials and technical experts to develop offset methodologies that have broad application. These methodologies are expected to be rolled out progressively from April 2011. The key study areas are:
- Reforestation, forest management and avoided deforestation;
- Savanna fire management;
- Landfill gas recovery;
- Manure management;
- Management of methane from livestock; and
- Soil and biochar.
- Alberta is working on a somewhat similar scheme.