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10th December 2021

Heartwood_Let's talk (frankly) about carbon

Let's talk (frankly) about carbon

Listening to the polies and the press you'd be forgiven for thinking that farmers who grow trees can easily join a scheme that pays for the carbon they lock up. WRONG.

I don't know one farmer on less than about a 5000 acres who is being paid for the carbon in their planted trees through the current Australian government carbon fund. Those that have looked into it find that the rules are too restrictive in terms of planting design and management, the costs of auditing are too high to make it work and the liability (like climate change itself) is just too great to pass onto the next generation.

But, we know that every tree we grow locks up carbon and contributes the the government's own carbon assessment. And, if we use the timber we can lock up even more, for longer.

As I suggest in my youtube video on carbon (, the government could set up a very simple program that sends every landholder a cheque every few years representing a very conservative estimate based on their own satelite data of the value of the carbon they are actually holding in their trees each year. No auditing, no liability. 

If the trees die or are harvested then the landholder would simply forgo the next payment. Simple, cheap and effective in acknowledging and supporting the thousands of landholders who are making a difference. 

Seems to me we have a scheme designed by carbon traders for carbon traders. That's fine. We now need a scheme designed by tree growers for tree growers that encourages innovation and rewards success. 

I'm looking forward to sharing my ideas and hearing other views at the Zero Emissions Farming – Towards 2050 Conference in Victoria next month:  If you can't be there in person you can join online.