Soil carbon research ‘critical’ to carbon farming initiative

Published 03 July 2011

climate-commissioners-at-soil-carbon-lab-blogThe research being undertaken on soil carbon assessment at the Primary Industries Innovation Centre (PIIC) at the University of New England has been described as ‘critical’ to the Australian Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative by the Australian Climate Commission’s Professor Tim Flannery.

Professor Flannery made his remarks on a visit to UNE and northern inland communities in NSW in which he and fellow Commissioner, Professor Will Steffen, presented their report to community members and discussed the impacts of climate change in the region.

Professors Flannery and Steffen visited the University and its Soil Carbon Laboratory on Friday, July 1st, to acquaint themselves with the facility and the directions of the research being done in the areas of vegetation, soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions related to agriculture.

Professor Flannery described the work being done as ‘very impressive and interesting’ and that it would be ‘critical’ to the Carbon Farming Initiative, one of the two major programs being established for greenhouse gas abatement – the other being the carbon tax.

The Carbon Farming Initiative is a carbon offsets scheme which aims to provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and landholders to help the environment by reducing carbon pollution – and ‘the research in the Carbon Lab is central to being able to do this properly,’ Professor Flannery said.

The Climate Commissioners also briefed and exchanged ideas with researchers from the Schools of Environmental and Rural Sciences, Business, Economics and Public Policy, and Behavioural, Cognitive and Social Sciences at UNE during their visit.