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Pages tagged "Agriculture & Land"

Louise Tarrier | CEO of Carbon Positive Australia (CPOZ)


July 2022

Carbon Positive Australia (CPOZ) is a charity that exists to empower and encourage everyone in Australia to take action that revitalises and improves the health of landscapes and communities across the country. We do this through funding carefully selected tree planting projects and providing inspiring education programs. We plant to offset carbon emissions and encourage everyone to make climate-healthy choices that go beyond being 'carbon neutral’. While reducing our C02 and equivalent emissions is essential to limit the impacts of climate change, developing a 'climate positive' approach has far wider social, environmental and economic benefits 

As an organisation, our remit for the past twenty years has been to plant and restore land that has become degraded, using carbon offsetting as the mechanism to fund that work.As the years have passed, our focused and unique approach to land restoration prioritises biodiversity and ecosystem health.” 

Louise says that offsetting should be the last resort to reduce emissions - not the first strategy. The first step in reducing your carbon footprint is understanding it and its impact, which is why CPOZ developed a free, online calculator tool.   

We were one of the first organisations in Australia to have an online carbon footprint calculator.”  

Over the last 12 months, CPOZ has been supporting communities that are feeling the impacts of climate change through their planting projects.  

Whether in urban areas where you’ve got heat impact or regional and remote areas where communities are experiencing soil erosion, salinity or water issues, planting trees can be used to mitigate climate impacts.” 

CPOZ partners with other environmental organisations and landholders who want to improve the health of their land in a biodiverse way while also improving their ability to farm sustainably. 

Louise expressed gratitude and pride that both the landholders and donors to CPOZ have a good understanding of biodiversity, with many coming from scientific backgrounds. Together they work in partnership to provide a wealth of knowledge about biodiverse planting.  

Last year, Louise presented at the 2021 Biodiversity Conference in WA, which had the theme of resilient landscapes. She explained how CPOZ helped restore Hill View in the Northern Wheatbelt and how by valuing biodiversity and understanding its impact on our environment and well-being we can encourage investment into land restoration.  

While we’re not a large charitable organisation, our impacts are big, especially here in Western Australia.” 

When undertaking a new project, the CPOZ team researches what native flora and fauna are in the surrounding areas by finding remnant vegetation to collect seeds. They also work with organisations like “The Conservation Council of WA” (CCWA) volunteer citizen scientists so that they can identify whether native bird and insect species return to the site after the planting.

The way these plants are situated when planting is also essential; the typical straight rows used for carbon capture projects may be more efficient at capturing carbon, but they do not support thriving wildlife.  

Increasing the native plant species to mimic the natural environment, attracts birds and animals and supports biodiversity. It also decreases coloniser species that have more opportunities to thrive in monoculture and low species planting. The planting pattern is also essential to encourage wildlife, the straight lines often used in carbon farming projects may be more efficient for carbon capture but it does not reflect natural patterns.” 

According to Louise, projects that do not support biodiversity and other co-benefits are not as beneficial.

Planting five or six species of plants is not biodiverse. In most West Australian native environments, even our shrub lands, there are hundreds of species so a five or six species planting is not biodiverse. We must encourage everyone to think about biodiversity when planning a carbon project. In particular, we are seeing large emitters entering the market, and we need to ensure that the planting they undertake has long-term beneficial impacts for the environment and carbon sequestration. They also need to be reducing their carbon emissions not just offsetting”

CPOZ works with individuals and businesses alike to plant in a biodiverse way that will restore the land to healthy and thriving ecosystems.  

While we are not an advocacy organisation, we want to ensure that we treat our precious land resource in a way that benefits all.” 

In demonstrating what genuine biodiverse planting looks like, and the benefits it derives for emissions drawdown and ecosystem health, CPOZ is educating individuals, businesses and governments on how to take a holistic approach to climate action in this space. 

 

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Peter Holding | Third-generation wheat, canola and sheep farmer in southeast NSW

 


 

[My vision] for a better future for all Australians begins with communities taking control of their energy needs via a distributed renewable energy system.

 

Peter wants Australia to become a world leader in renewable energy supply, including green hydrogen.

Read more from our interview with Peter below.

Can you tell us about your work as Outreach Officer with Farmers for Climate Action?

We are a Farmer based community organisation working to help rural communities adapt and mitigate the impacts of global warming and its inherent climate change.

Why is your organisation taking climate action? 

As Hanrahan said in the poem by John O'Brien, "we'll all be rooned" if we don't draw down emissions and stop using fossil fuels.

Can you tell us about your commitments to climate action? 

We're working to get farmers to zero emissions by 2030, and also educating the wider communities of the costs of failing to get to zero emissions by 2030.

Is there a project you are working on that you are excited about?

We are helping rural communities to come together to take individual and collective action on climate change at all levels from personal to national.

What real-world opportunities have you uncovered from taking climate action today? 

Renewable energy offers great potential to improve farming communities and move away from fossil fuels; community engagement builds resilience.

What climate action would you like to see Australia take?

We want to see economy-wide zero emissions by 2030. It's time to get serious about preventing greenwashing and put in place a proper carbon accounting system based on acknowledging the false equivalence of fossil and biological carbon.


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Anika Molesworth | Farmer, Scientist, and the Founder of Climate Wise Agriculture

 


 

 

The climate crisis is not imminent - it is here. Farmers are being challenged today and this concerns everyone who eats food. 

 Contact Anika

 

Anika says her vision for a better future for all Australians "is one where we have a safe and stable climate; where people are nourished well by the food they eat and consume a diet that is healthy for the planet; where people feel connected and responsible for the environment around them."

Read more from our interview with Anika below.

Can you tell us about Climate Wise Agriculture? 

From those who study life under microscopes to those who spend their days in dusty sheep yards, people who are involved in agriculture are inquisitive, innovative, and committed to continual improvement.

Climate Wise Agriculture provides a forum for information and experiences to be exchanged in order to build a greater understanding of climate change as it relates to agricultural industries across the globe. It seeks to develop a network of well-informed, well-equipped people in agriculture to ensure the best for this industry. Information is always current and credible and explains drivers of climate change, the impacts upon agriculture, and appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies. 

Climate Wise Agriculture shares this knowledge in order to transfer best practices and drive strategy so as to achieve climate-resilient and sustainable agricultural industries.

Why is Climate Wise Agriculture taking climate action? 

I know that we can live and eat in a way that is good for both people and the planet. By working together, we can find the answers on how to feed the global population well and in a way that tackles climate change.

Can you tell us about your commitments to climate action? 

I work with change-makers, status quo-breakers, and vision-chasers. An energised community that asks better questions of problems in the food system and seeks out innovative solutions. I strive to help create a better tomorrow.

Is there a project you are working on that you are excited about?

My debut book on climate change and the food system will be published in August 2021, which explores both the challenges and the solutions.

Over the past few months, I have been researching, interviewing, and writing a powerful narrative that will engage and inspire readers on how we can ensure the meal on our plate is both good for people and the planet.

Bringing together stories and ideas from farmers, nutritionists, climate scientists, chefs, and social entrepreneurs, my book aims to deliver a compelling vision for improving the food system.

What real-world opportunities have you uncovered from taking climate action today? 

The climate crisis is not imminent - it is here. Farmers are being challenged today and this concerns everyone who eats food.

My book shares the story of humanity entangled in the climate crisis throughout the food system. In order to look after the food system and the environment, we need to recognise the connection people have to nature, understand why we are crossing Earth’s boundaries, and how we as individuals can influence positive change and secure a better future for our world and all the precious life it holds. Ultimately, it is my hope that the reader will find knowledge, skills, inspiration, and courage from within these pages.

So many real-world opportunities exist - from carbon sequestration on farms, lowering food waste, circular economies, and renewable energy projects - the opportunities are enormous!

What climate action would you like to see Australia take?

We must get to net zero and beyond as quickly as possible, with consideration for a just transition and climate justice. I would like to see Australia take part in this in a serious and urgent manner.

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Karin Stark | Director of Farm Renewables Consulting


Karin Stark lives on a cotton and wheat farm in Narromine, NSW, giving her a first-hand perspective of the inherent energy challenges faced by farmers. Energy is one of the fastest-growing costs for farmers, and Karin's focus is on helping them to significantly reduce those costs and their emissions at the same time by facilitating the adoption of on-farm renewables.

"Energy was the highest operating cost on our farm, so in 2018 we installed Australia’s largest solar diesel irrigation pump, which has saved us 45% on diesel costs and stopped 500 tonnes of emissions from entering the atmosphere each year."

Read more from our interview with Karin below.

What is Farm Renewables Consulting?

Farm Renewables Consulting is an Australian owned business, based in Central West NSW, that's working with Government, community groups, and private industry, on the premise that shared stories and lived experience is one of the best ways to create meaningful change. 

Karin has a background in Environmental Management and the design, delivery, and evaluation of community-based social marketing. Being a passionate advocate in this area, she also founded and convenes the annual National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and Exhibition.

Why is Farm Renewables Consulting taking climate action?

Farmers are on the front line of climate change, with fires, floods, and drought impacting the sustainability of farm businesses. Regional Australia and the agricultural sector also have massive opportunities in the transition to decarbonise the energy sector.

Farm Renewables Consulting helps to build communities of practice, particularly through the National Renewables in Agriculture Conference and increases knowledge to enable farmers to adopt renewables and see a successful transition to a clean energy future.

How is Farm Renewables Consulting taking climate action?

The driving force behind the decision to go solar was that energy was our highest operating cost on the farm. We were spending over $300,000 each year to run groundwater irrigation bores used to water our summer crops.

The 500kW solar-diesel hybrid pump was launched in 2018 to much media and community interest. It is on target for the system to be paid back in five years.

The environmental benefits are something we're proud of, with 500 tonnes of CO2 no longer entering the atmosphere each year. It's important we continue to share our story, to give other farmers the confidence to move forward to a low carbon future.

Is there a project Farm Renewables Consulting is currently delivering that you are excited about?

The 2022 National Renewables in Agriculture Conference will be the third time the event has been held. From the inaugural event in 2019, where 250 people came together to share stories of renewables on farms, the event has since grown to 350 in 2021.

We expect the 2022 Conference to be even bigger and better and for stories of innovative farmers to continue to be highlighted through the event and in the lead-up, via media and social media.

What real-world opportunities have you uncovered by taking climate action?

The installation of our 500kW solar-diesel pump led to the convening of the National Renewables in Agriculture Conference, the only event in Australia that brings those interested in agriculture and energy together.

What action would you like to see Australia take on climate?

We'd like to see the Federal Government take action on climate change by:

  • Putting a price on carbon;
  • Ensuring that climate change is depoliticised;
  • Supporting and incentivising renewables and storage;
  • Assisting Farmers for Climate Action's Repower Plan;
  • Investing in knowledge and funds for community-owned energy (Helen Haine's report); and
  • Implementing stronger R&D and commercialisation of cleaner energy sources.

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