prime carbon: soil enhancement & carbon sequestration program

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Deborah Burden is CEO Prime CArbon. She explains how Australia's first regional carbon trading scheme works. This presentation was given at the Carbon Farming Expo & Conference Orange 18-19 November, 2008. Orange is in new South Wales, Australia.


  • 1.Prime CarbonSoil Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration Program

2. Presentation Overview

    • Why Soil Carbon Sequestration is a keysolution to Climate Change issues
    • About Prime Carbonand the Prime Carbon Soil Enhancement and
    • CarbonSequestration program

3. A message from Professor Tim Flannery 2007 Australian of the Year andChair of the Copenhagen Climate Council Tim Flannery19th May, 2008 Regardless of what happens to emissions in the future, there is already far too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Cutting emissions is not enough. Mankind now has to take greenhouse gases out of the air. "The current burden of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is in fact more than sufficient to cause catastrophic climate change.It's extremely urgent." 4. A message from Professor Tim Flannery 2007 Australian of the Year andChair of the Copenhagen Climate Council Tim Flannery30th October, 2008at the Carbon Market Conference Broadbeach within 15 years we could see our first iceless winterunless actionis taken to address the legacy emissions currently in the atmosphere . 5. Why Carbon Soil Sequestration is the answer What would an iceless world mean? If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet).If all of the ice covering Greenland melted sea levels would rise about 6 or7 meters (20 feet).If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet).If all of the ice covering Greenland melted sea levels would rise about 6 or7 meters (20 feet).If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise about 61 meters (200 feet).If all of the ice covering Greenland melted sea levels would rise about 6 or7 meters (20 feet).If all of the Antarctic ice melted, sea levels around the world would rise approximately 61 metres (200 feet).If all of the ice coveringGreenland melted sea levelswould rise between 6 and7 metres (20 feet). 6. Why Carbon Soil Sequestration is the answer 10 20 30 4050 Years Soil Forests Clean Coal Nuclear Wind Solar The World has 10 Years to do something serious about Global Warming- STERN REPORT / NASA QuickTime and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Why Soil Carbon Sequestrationis the solution Slide courtesy of Michael Kiely 7. Why Carbon Soil Sequestration is the answer Whatdoes Soil CarbonSequestration Mean? Soil Carbon Sequestration simply means the capture of carbongenerally from the air and the return of this carbon back into the soil.In reality this happens continually in allsorts of ways.However, one of themost important methods is by photosynthesis. 8. Why Carbon Soil Sequestration is the answer Whatare the benefits ofSoil Carbon Sequestration?

  • The benefits of restoring carbon levels in our soil are numerous and include:
  • Improved soil structure
  • Better water use and storage
  • Buffering against drought and plant heat stress
  • Less erosion
  • Increased soil fertility
  • Improved biodiversity
  • Healthier ecology
  • Improved agricultural performance

9. About Prime Carbon

  • Prime Carbon Pty Ltd is a North Queensland company which exists to a make a real difference to our future by:
  • Providing asimple and practical solutionto improve
  • thequality of our soil and waterwaysby
  • encouraging behavioral change that results in
  • sustainableconservation agriculture land and farm
  • managementpractices .
  • LinkingAustralian and International Green House
  • Gasemitterswith Landholders and Farmers who
  • capture carbon .

10. About Prime Carbon 11. About Prime Carbon

  • Prime Carbon undertakes two main activities.
  • We offer our Soil Enhancement and Carbon Sequestration programto Landholders.This Program encourages conservation agriculture practices to capture carbon from the atmosphere and return it to the soil by the process of photosynthesis.
  • The Program generates Carbon Credits for the Voluntary Carbon Market.

12. Broker of Carbon Credits 2.We then act as awholesale brokerandsellthese Carbon Creditsto emitting companies.Carbon Credits issued by Prime Carbon are listed on the National Environment Registry (NER) Prime Carbon is registered as a brokerwith the National Stock Exchange (NSX)and in this capacity Prime Carbon isable to sell/trade the carbon credits . 13. What is a Carbon Credit A carbon credit is a commercial term used to assign a value to a metric tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon credits are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide, where 1 credit = 1 tonne of CO 2 . The Prime Carbon Programforecasts that soil carbon will increase by 1% over a 2 year term.A 1% increase equates to the removal of 15 tonnesof Carbon from the atmosphere per hectare.This equates to 55 Carbon Credits per hectare. 14. About the Program The Program has been operational since July, 2008.Seven Landholders are currently under contract representing 900 hectares/50,000 carbon credits. We are in final negotiations with a further 4 Landholders representing 14,500 hectares/800,000 carbon credits. Our first sale of carbon credits within Australia wascompleted in September and we are currentlynegotiating our first international sale. 15. Voluntary Market

    • Currently in Australia there is a Voluntary Market in operation and companies can voluntarily purchase carbon credits through carbon credit brokers.
    • Eg QANTAS, Jet Star and Virgin Blue.
    • Prime Carbon operates in this
    • Voluntary Market.

16. Compulsory Market

    • The Federal Governments Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme also known as the Emissions Trading Scheme is currently under development.
    • It is unclear if Soil Carbon will be included within the Compulsory Scheme.

17. Consumer Pay for"Permits" to pollute ... + GST GST 10% "100% of the money" Goes to householdsand businesses Cost of everything goes up From 2015 themajority of Emissions"NOT ALLOWED" The money cycle for 60% of Australias Emissions 1000 Top Polluters Two main reasons whySoil Carbon should be includedIn the Carbon Trading Discussion 18. Two main reasons whySoil Carbon should be includedin the Carbon Trading discussion 473 m t 410 m t The Not Allowed and Forgotten emissions will cost Aust $8.8b pa in 2010 rising to $22 bpa in 2050 2008 2010 2015 2008 Aust Emissions Deficit =630 Million TonnesPer Annum Allowed and covered byPollution Permits2050 10% or 63 m t 75% 65% Cap Target for ETS: Permits issued to reduce to 10% by 2050? 50% Best Possible reduction byETS Companies from Efficiency and Abatement (30% of current emissions) Not AllowedOnlyo ptions are Penalties, JIs or CDMs Forgotten 63 Million Tonnes pa in 2010 rising to 252 Million Tonnes pa in 2050 158 Million Tonnes rising to 315 Million Tonnes IF WE HAVE NO GROWTH IN ACTIVITY AT ALL Proposed ETS Capture level 19. Just some of the other benefitsof including Soil Carbon

  • Soil is improved
  • Potential for significant financial rewards to be paid to Australian Farmers for improving their soil
  • Australias agricultural soils continue to be available for producing food for our growing future population
  • Improved agricultural soil means less runoff which will improve our major waterways and reduce future damage to the Great Barrier Reef
  • Importantly soil carbon represents the ONLY AVAILABLE buffer against the impacts of climate change already being experienced.
  • Buffering against drought what other options are there?

20. What is the likelihood of SoilCarbon Sequestration being includedwithin a Compulsory Scheme ? The likelihood of Soil Carbon Sequestration being included in a compulsory scheme for carbon management is directly related to the co-benefits of Soil Carbon Sequestration.Soil Carbon deals with the IMPACTS of climate change not just the REDUCTION of EMMISSIONS 21. What land can be used inthe Prime Carbon Program

  • The following is a quick eligibility checklist:
  • Must be greater than 150 hectares
  • The person signing the agreement must have the right to perform activities on the land for the next 2 years
  • The land can not previously have been used to sequester carbon which has resulted in the generation of carbon credits.

22. What the Program requiresLandholders to do

  • The Prime Carbons Program,which complies with the Kyoto rules (as currently interpreted) requires Landholders to:
  • reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by at least 30%
  • use approved microbially enhanced Bio-fertilizers and Inoculants
  • adopt minimum tillage practices being no more than once annually and then only to a maximum depth of 200 mm
  • allow independent measurement of changes in the allocated land to be undertaken and
  • allow independent auditing of the process.
  • Importantly, there is no restriction on
  • continuing to farm or use the allocated land
  • during the agreement

23. Overview of the On Ground process

  • The Landholder signs the Agreement
  • Initial soil samples are taken


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