Soil Carbon Projects

What is soil carbon?

Soil Carbon or Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) is the amount of carbon in the soil as a component of soil organic matter, plant and animal materials in the soil that are in various stages of decay.

SOC is the basis of soil fertility. It helps to it assists in the movement of nutrients for plant growth, promotes structure of the soil, biological health of the soil and water retention and availability.

A critical part of the carbon cycle, at the global scale the world’s soils holds twice the amount of the carbon that is found in the atmosphere or in vegetation.

In Australia, the SOC have dropped to below that of pre-agriculture levels in many areas. This is due to activities such as cultivation, burning, or inappropriate grazing practices. However, the amount of soil carbon does vary greatly according to the soil types, landscapes and climate within a region.

Increasing the amount of soil carbon has two key benefits:

  • Assisting in the mitigation of climate change – if more carbon is stored in the soil as organic carbon, it will reduce the amount present in the atmosphere and therefore assist in reducing global warming.
  • Improve soil health and fertility – more SOC within the soil leads to greater water holding capacity, more nutrient movement and availability, greater biological activity. Many management practices that increase SOC also improve crop and pasture yields.

What is a soil carbon project?

A soil carbon project is one of the land-based options that are available under Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative legislation. A soil carbon project is designed to increase the storage, or sequestration, of carbon within agricultural soil.

Steps of a Soil Carbon Project

There are essentially six steps to running a soil carbon project:

  1. Feasibility: Select Carbon has a process that we take you through in order to determine if a soil carbon project is a great fit for you. Select Carbon shares in this investment with you to ensure that we are committed to working together.
  2. Registration: registering the project with the Clean Energy Regulator and activating the project implementation through a new land management strategy.
    Baseline sampling: measurement of existing soil carbon levels across your project down to 1 metre.
  3. Project implementation: a new management activity to build soil carbon must be implemented across the whole project area. Select Carbon can help align this to your future direction of your business.
  4. Re-measurement of soil carbon levels: measurement of soil organic levels 2-5 years after the baseline measurement
  5. Project reporting and issuance of carbon credits: calculate the difference in soil carbon between measurement rounds, as prescribed through the method, submit reports and generate ACCUs (Australian carbon credit units)

Getting Started

Select Carbon has the expertise to help you through all stages of a soil carbon project, including this initial stage.

Our team will talk you through the carbon project and also your current and future management of your property to ensure this method fit into your broader business and land management.

Starting with initial discussions, we can progress to the due diligence stage. This is an in-depth assessment of your project area and business in relation to a soil carbon project.

Once we both establish that continuing this project is going to be profitable and productive for you and your business, we help facilitate the registration of your project and then transition the project to you once the risks of first measurement are removed.

Contact us for further information or to start your soil carbon journey.

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To explore your options of participating in the carbon market or implementing a carbon project on your property contact us today.

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