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Soil carbon

04 March 2021

The new soil carbon method will help support more uptake of soil projects by reducing the costs of running soil carbon projects by using new soil carbon models. This is consistent with the Low Emissions Technology statement. Reducing the cost of soil carbon measurements has the potential to unlock soil carbon sequestration on a broad scale and improve farm productivity including enhanced crop yields and boosted resilience to drought and erosion.

Diagram of the soil carbon method development process. Current status: Develop draft method.

Method development plan

Development stageStatusMilestones
Planning and scopingComplete
  • Ministerial method priority announced quarter 4 2020.
  • Initial method scoping and planning completed in quarter 4 2020.
Develop draft methodIn progress
  • Initial co-design workshop held quarter 4 2020.
  • Co-design process continues during quarters 1 and 2 2021.
Technical and expert consultationPending
  • Technical review scheduled quarters 1 and 2 2021.
ERAC considerationPending
  • ERAC consideration scheduled quarter 2 2021.
Public consultationPending
  • Public consultation scheduled quarter 2 2021.
Refinement and draft finalisationPending
  • Refinement and draft finalisation during quarter 3 2021.
ERAC approvalPending
  • ERAC review scheduled quarter 3 2021.
Minister approvalPending
  • Method finalised by quarter 3 2021.

Issues Register

IssueResponse
Ensuring soil sampling cost reductions are achieved through the new estimation techniques and schedules.
The CER will investigate opportunities to reduce costs of the hybrid approach and continue engagement with stakeholders on possible new estimation techniques and schedules. The CER will work with ERAC to ensure the new estimation techniques meet the offsets integrity standards.
Revisions to the existing measured soil carbon method to ensure useability and uptake, including comprehensive review of eligible management activities, restricted activities, prohibited activities and the Land Management Strategy.
The CER will review current method provisions and continue engagement with stakeholders on possible revisions to support uptake. Where integrity risks are identified, the CER will consider alternatives that could support uptake.
Investigating what technology may exist to support a modelled-only approach to estimating soil carbon abatement.
The CER will investigate existing and emerging soil carbon modelling technologies through continued engagement with stakeholders.

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