Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

4.3 Methodologies are at the heart of the ERF

Ensuring that abatement is real

The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability

Explore the full Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

 
All ERF activity must take place under an approved methodology, or method. These methods set out the rules for particular types of projects under the schemes. Each method is specifically designed to satisfy all the conditions of the integrity standard.
A method is very much like a ‘technology' or a systematic farming practice. The methodology contains the rules and requirements for undertaking a particular carbon farming activity. While their details differ depending on the nature of the abatement activity, methods all contain:
  • a description of the activity and how it reduces emissions or stores carbon
  • a list of sources and sinks affected by the project
  • instructions for determining the baseline that represents what would occur in the absence of the project
  • procedures for measuring or estimating project abatement from the baseline
  • identification of the greenhouse gas assessment boundary
  • some accounting for leakage
  • project-specific data collection, monitoring, reporting and record-keeping requirements.

4.3.1 Who develops a method?

Overarching responsibility for developing methodologies lies with the Clean Energy Regulator (CER). Previously, the Australian Government Department of the Environment jointly oversaw methodologies with the Department of Agriculture. 
The CER develops priority methods through a co-design process with industry, potential end-users, scientists and technical experts and the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee. Methods are developed through co-design workshops with stakeholders, with any out-of-session engagement through email.
The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, supported by the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources sets the priorities for the development of new ERF methods.
The current method development priorities are:
  • soil carbon
  • carbon capture and storage
  • biomethane
  • plantation forestry
  • blue carbon.

At the time of this update (January 2021), the Department was set to call for submissions to set the next round of method development priorities by September/October 2021.
Previously, under the CFI, methodologies were developed by private applicants, industry associations and government organisations. 
With the implementation of the ERF, this option to propose new methodologies ceased. More information on the most recent approach, and the ways in which you can participate in method development is available HERE.

 

4.3.2 Who approves the method?

Under the CFI, an independent expert committee, the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, assessed offset methodologies and advised the Australian Minister for the Environment on whether they should be approved.
Under the ERF, the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee has been renamed as the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee (ERAC). Amongst a range of duties, the ERAC assesses method determinations to ensure they comply with the Offsets Integrity Standards set out in the Act and advises the Minister on whether to make, vary or revoke method determinations based on their assessment of their compliance with the Offsets Integrity Standards.
Put simply, the committee ensures that methodologies are rigorous and lead to real abatement. As part of its assessment, advice provided to the Minister by the ERAC is published with consultation information for each method.
View all finalised methods.

 

Explore the full Workshop Manual: The business case for carbon farming: improving your farm’s sustainability (January 2021)

Read the report

RESEARCH REPORTS

1. Introduction: background to the business case

This chapter lays out the basic background and groundwork of the manual

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1.1 Overview

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.2 Being clear about the reasons for participating

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.3 Key steps in a decision process

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.4 Working through the business case for carbon farming

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.5 Factors determining project economics

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.6 Elements of the business case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.7 Building an economic case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.8 Important features of the business case

Introduction: background to the business case

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1.9 The plan of this manual

Introduction: background to the business case

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2. How carbon is farmed under the ERF

This chapter considers in detail the activities that constitute carbon farming

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2.1 The scope of carbon farming under the ERF

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.2 Emissions avoidance activities

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.3 Sequestration activities

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.4 The negative list

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.5 Carbon farming under the Emissions Reduction Fund

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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2.6 Who's who in the CFI and the ERF

How carbon is farmed under the ERF

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3. The policy context and the price of ACCUs

This chapter takes a broad look at the policy context for carbon farming

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3.1 The policy context

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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3.2 A documented climate challenge…

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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3.3 … with numerous policy responses

The policy context and the price of ACCUs

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