Why is it all about Carbon?
Almost all greenhouse gases are based on carbon. This is why programs to control greenhouse gas emissions focus on managing natural carbon. It also explains why people just talk about ‘carbon’ when discussing these issues and programs.
The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon where particular gases in the atmosphere cause it to retain heat. This has kept the earth’s temperature suitable for agriculture for tens of thousands of years. This phenomenon only became a problem when the natural balance was upset, causing it to retain too much heat.
Preventing emissions – Sequestration and Abatement
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from essential activities, such as food production, are very important.
There are two ways to prevent emissions. Storing natural carbon in some form, is called sequestration. Reducing emissions by that were going to happen otherwise, is called abatement.
The Emissions Reduction Fund allow projects using specificmethods that scientists have proven will prevent emissions, by either sequestration or abatement. There are many approved methods for many industries.
Beef Cattle Opportunity
The ERF has established the ‘Beef Cattle Herd Management Method.’ It rewards cattle farmers for reducing emissions while conducting the essential activity of beef production.
Beef cattle produce methane, called ‘enteric emissions.’ The methane is produced by the fermentation of feed in their stomach’s largest chamber (the rumen). Cattle emit the methane by exhaling and belching. The longer the animal lives, the more emissions it will produce.
Each outcome results in animals spending less time producing emissions. It’s like making vehicles travel the same distance using less fuel, hence reducing emissions overall. As well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, each outcome is a commercial goal for beef cattle producers. Being paid for achieving them is an extra reward for being an efficient cattle producer.
Making Money from Carbon
Participating producers are rewarded with Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) based on the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions they have prevented. They are issued annually by the ERF. In 2018 ACCUs were valued at $13.24. Since then, they have increased in value by 11.8% annually (source: Reputex). On the 1st of April 2021, the ACCU price was $18.50. In short, ACCUs are a valuable asset that producers can hold or sell. What’s more, there is no cost to participate, so the full value of ACCUs cattle producers receive is profit.
What to do now
07 4548 0610
The first thing to do is contact us at Arcadian to talk about your beef cattle operations. We can advise you about the process of participating in the project and the information that you need. You’ll probably be surprised about how straight forward the process is. Acting soon is important though, as maximising your ACCU returns depends on establishing a ‘baseline’ and clarifying your current herd management activities.