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Australia's New Draft for Carbon Forestry Method to Provide Certainty and Ease Project Hurdles

At Kakariki Land, we are excited to share that our CEO, Lachy Ritchie, was recently featured in an S&P Global article discussing Australia's new draft for the carbon forestry method. This proposed draft aims to provide certainty and ease project hurdles, making it a significant step forward for environmental planting (EP) projects in Australia.

Key Highlights from the Article

The Australian government's proposed draft for a newer version of the forestry-based environmental planting method is expected to ease participation and provide investment certainty for projects that generate some of Australia’s highest-priced carbon credits.

Environmental Planting (EP) Method

The EP method involves generating Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) by planting native species of trees on land that has been clear of forest cover for the last five years. EP ACCUs are among the highest-priced credits in Australia, reflecting their significant environmental value.

Proposed Changes to the EP Method

The draft, released for consultation on June 13, incorporates several changes to make participation easier. According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water, these changes include:

  • Seed Ownership: Project developers will be able to own seeds before applying to register a project with the Clean Energy Regulator.

  • Land Preparation: Developers can prepare the land for planting between the application and registration stages.

  • Fertilizer Application: An initial one-off fertilizer application will be permitted during the first 12 months of planting for specific project settings.

  • Climate-Resilient Species: The draft allows the planting of climate-resilient species that are not part of the local native vegetation, based on endorsement from an ecologist.

  • Site Preparation: Developers can undertake activities such as weed control, ripping, and fence installation in the period between registration submission and confirmation, providing an extra 90 days to prepare for planting.

These changes aim to address some of the major bottlenecks in the EP project establishment, particularly the availability of seedlings. As Lachy Ritchie noted in the article, "Seedlings orders often need to be placed 9-12 months ahead of the planting window, so early ordering is a practical necessity, and this new ruling should speed up project establishment."

Harvesting Provision

The new method also permits the harvesting and sale of 10% of fruits, nuts, seeds, and leaves from each tree within a project. While this option might not be a significant driver, it does make EP more complementary to ongoing farming and supports first-nation enterprises and other small business activities.

Implications for the Carbon Market

The proposed changes are expected to provide the conservation industry with a critical source of native seed for future projects, reducing pressure on remnant vegetation. This development is crucial for the growth and sustainability of the EP projects.

Market Confidence

The draft method's release is anticipated to bring more certainty and confidence to the market, encouraging more planting projects to proceed. As Lachy Ritchie emphasized, "Investors, project developers, and all supporting businesses need confidence in when registration will recommence. Any gap in the ability to register new environmental planting projects is seriously undesirable and will delay investment into the market and trees being planted in the ground."

Looking Ahead

At Kakariki, we are committed to supporting innovative and sustainable carbon forestry projects. The proposed changes to the EP method are a positive step forward for the industry, providing the necessary clarity and confidence for continued growth and investment.

We encourage stakeholders and interested parties to review the full article for detailed insights and stay informed about the ongoing developments in the carbon forestry sector. Together, we can drive meaningful environmental impact and achieve our sustainability goals.


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