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Carbon Farming Initiative
What is the Carbon Farming Initiative?
The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is a voluntary carbon offsets scheme. This Australian Government initiative allows farmers and land managers to earn carbon credits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (such as nitrous oxide and methane) and storing carbon in vegetation and soils through changes to agricultural and land management practices (also known as carbon farming).
These credits, known as Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), can be sold to individuals and businesses that want or need to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of their business operations. This can create additional income for Australian farmers and land managers who choose to take part in the initiative.
To participate in the CFI, people undertaking projects to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or store carbon in the landscape will need to use an approved methodology for their activity. These methodologies contain the detailed rules for implementing and monitoring specific carbon farming activities and generating carbon credits under the scheme. New methodologies and opportunities to participate are continually evolving.
The CFI is one of many government initiatives that help maintain and enhance ongoing productivity and profitability and protect Australia’s natural environment.
The CFI officially commenced on 8 December 2011 and since 2 April 2012 land managers have been able to apply to undertake CFI projects. To see how people are already taking part, please visit the Register of Offsets Projects.
Where do I go to find out more?
Various elements of the CFI, such as research, policy, participation and regulation are being managed by different Australian Government agencies. To help you find the information you are looking for, the list below briefly describes each agency’s role in the CFI.
Department of the Environment
The Department of the Environment is responsible for the CFI legislation and supporting regulations. The Department of the Environment is also responsible for developing the methodologies (detailed rules) for undertaking CFI projects and provides secretariat support to the independent Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, which assesses these methodologies.
For information on how the CFI works, which activities can generate carbon credits and the ground rules for these activities please visit the Department of the Environment's website, phone 1800 057 590 or email.
Clean Energy Regulator
The CFI is administered by the Clean Energy Regulator. The Clean Energy Regulator is responsible for approving participation in the CFI by individuals and entities, approving CFI projects, issuing ACCUs and managing the holding, transfer, retirement, relinquishment and cancellation of units through the Australian National Registry of Emissions Units. The Clean Energy Regulator is also responsible for educating stakeholders and participants on how to comply with the CFI rules.
Department of Agriculture
The department is responsible for funding innovative research and on–farm trials that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the land sector and store carbon in the landscape, enhancing sustainable agricultural practices. Driving innovation in this space will help inform the development of methodologies for the CFI while helping Australian farmers and land managers adapt to climate change.
The department is also responsible for communicating information about the CFI and developments in land sector emissions management to farmers, land managers and their key influencers. Through targeted extension and outreach activities, farmers and land managers will be equipped to make informed decisions about emissions management on their land and participating in the CFI.
The department is working with the Department of the Environment and other stakeholders to develop CFI methodologies for different industries and regions.
The department supports the implementation of the CFI through:
22 Oct 2013