Carbon development pathways for Australian producers

  • 42 pages

  • Published: 4 Sep 2023

  • Author(s): Australian Farm Institite

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-409-7

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Know your options with the Carbon Opportunity Decision Support Tool, available on the Australian Farm Institute website

Farming in Australia is undertaken in one of the most difficult physical environments and least subsidised policy landscapes in the world. As climate change causes an increase in the frequency and strength of natural disasters, farmers must cope with an extended range of financial risks while juggling productivity and efficiency goals. While farmers want to invest in sustainability measures, improve natural capital and participate in carbon markets, these measures usually involve cost and effort – and the resulting benefit to the farming business is not always readily apparent.

As options to engage in new carbon markets become available, a ‘confusopoly’ has developed and for many primary producers the perceived cost of participation – be it time, money or both – is higher than the return. Increasing sustainability-based regulatory and/or reporting requirements in global trade markets and the finance sector add to the confusion and increase the perception of difficulty. The drivers of participation – policy commitments, corporate risk and consumer desire – often overlap.

However, these trends present emerging opportunities for producers who are able to navigate this complex landscape. And the best tools for navigating tricky landscapes are maps and trusted advisors.

The key objectives of this project were to identify and clarify carbon development pathways for Australian primary producers, improve uptake of existing options, and forecast emerging opportunities and risks.