What opportunities can the Emissions Reduction Fund offer for producers

10 July 2015

Adopting tactics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has the potential for alternative income for Australia’s northern livestock producers, according to a new report into carbon credit opportunities for pastoral areas.

The report was prepared for Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) through a Federal Government Department of Environment grant.

Its key findings will be presented to northern cattle producers during a free webinar, to be held on 23 July, titled: Northern producers: can money be made from the Emissions Reduction Fund?

MLA Manager, Sustainable Feedbase Dr Tom Davison based in Brisbane says said pastoral properties could potentially have access to alternative income through the Federal Government’s Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) for undertaking a range of activities including whole beef herd management, savanna burning, avoided clearing of native forest regrowth and feeding nitrate supplements.

He said “MLA’s ‘Engagement of Pastoral Properties with the ERF’ report, to be released in coming weeks, used case study properties to analyse the economic benefits to northern livestock producers from participating in the ERF. The report also highlights a need to be aware of the complexities of the ERF, including its regulatory requirements and the need for anyone to conduct their own independent investigations about being involved.”

During July’s Future Beef webinar, agricultural scientist, livestock and greenhouse gas specialist Stephen Wiedemann, of FSA Consulting, and carbon market expert Phil Cohn, of RAMPCarbon, will also present on the generic results from the case studies.

Steve Wiedemann said the report identified that the biggest pastoral herd management opportunities under the ERF scheme came from improving weaning percentages and lifting growth rates in young cattle.

He said this can be achieved using targeted, higher rates of supplementation for breeder cattle, adopting segregated heifer management to improve weaning rates on second-calf heifers and reducing stocking rates to improve feed quantity and quality.

“Such tactics have positive productivity spin-offs in lowering cattle age for live export, lifting herd feed use efficiency, reducing stocking pressure and improving breeder performance.  A method in this area has not yet been approved but is under development so it is timely for producers to think about future opportunities” he says.

Phil Cohn, who has vast experience in carbon markets and has developed methods under the Emissions Reduction Fund, will outline the potential markets for carbon credits in Australia and how to conduct a project under the ERF.

He will discuss the benefits and risks of ERF auctions, the secondary market, the voluntary carbon market and safeguard mechanisms.

The northern livestock producer ERF webinar will run on Thursday July 23 from 12.30-1.30pm EST. Register to the webinar here 

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