Presentation on theme: "BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Box Ironbark Farm Forestry Network Members ‘Carbon Day’ Epsom 25 th Aug 2007."— Presentation transcript:
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Box Ironbark Farm Forestry Network Members ‘Carbon Day’ Epsom 25 th Aug 2007
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 BIFFN Carbon Day Introduction – What is Carbon? – Why is it a problem? Solutions – Measure, avoidance, reduction & offsetting Future – What options currently exist? – What do we want to know more about……?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What is Carbon? Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere Combined with water they get from the soil, to make the substances they need for growth. The process of photosynthesis incorporates the carbon atoms from carbon dioxide into sugars. Animals eat the plants and use the carbon to build their own tissues. Other animals eat the rabbit and then use the carbon for their own needs. Carbon dioxide is returned into the air when they breathe, and when they die, since the carbon is returned to the soil during decomposition. The carbon atoms in soil may then be used in a new plant or small micro organisms.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 The greenhouse effect is… essential to most life on Earth. what prevents the Earth from freezing over. capable of producing too much global warming, which in turn may change our environment forever. in the Earth's atmosphere, a barrier to stop heat escaping from the Earth. a cosy layer around the Earth, which keeps the surface temperature at an average of 15°C.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Where does the name ‘greenhouse effect’ come from? A greenhouse is designed to keep plants warm. Visible light comes through the glass and heats the ground and air inside the greenhouse. The main reason a greenhouse then stays warm is that it stops the warm air inside mixing with the colder outside air by the process of convection. The process going on in a greenhouse really isn't the same as that in the Earth's atmosphere, but the result might be considered to be similar and so the name seems to have stuck.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Global warming…. For planets, such as the Earth, there is always a delicate balance between the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the resulting temperature on the planet’s surface. It is this balance that may be upset if human activity changes the contents of our atmosphere by, for example, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide. If we do that, the average temperature all over the Earth may increase significantly and we would have global warming, which could possibly lead to serious climate change
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Why is global warming a problem? Advanced life on Earth has evolved in the present environment and humans have learnt to live on the planet under these conditions. Global warming could change these conditions so that a dramatic change in the balance of life on Earth and the ways humans live might be needed. It is not the greenhouse effect itself that is bad. A problem only occurs if any changes in the strength of the effect lead to large changes in the Earth's climate on a very short timescale. Even small changes in temperature could have a devastating effect on the Earth’s climate and environment leading, for example, to more storms, droughts and floods.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are greenhouse gases? Carbon Dioxide (CO 2 )1 Methane (CH 4 )21 Nitrous Oxide (N 2 0)310 Hydroflurocarbons (HFC’s)11,700 Perflurocarbons (PFC’s)9,200 Sulfur Hexaflouride (SF 6 )23,900 Water Vapour Global Warming Potential
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Where atmospheric carbon originates….carbon source Fossil fuel emissions – This is the largest source of carbon buildup Soil organic carbon destruction – Through tillage and soil erosion, soil organic carbon is oxidised and released into the atmosphere Deforestation – As forests are burned for land clearing or other reasons carbon is released onto the atmosphere
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Where does carbon go… carbon sink Diffuses into the oceans – Ocean waters contain dissolved carbon dioxide and calcium carbonate in the form of shells and marine organisms Into plant life (Biosphere) – All living and dead organisms Into soil organic carbon – Anything living in the soil such as plant roots, microbes, or fungus Lithosphere (Earth’s crust) – Consists of fossil fuels and sedimentary rock like limestone, dolomite and chalk
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What causes Carbon Dioxide to increase? When coal or other fossil fuels are burnt, the carbon in them reacts with oxygen to form carbon dioxide. This increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and can upset the delicate ‘greenhouse’ balance. More energy will be absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere, and this raises the temperature of both the atmosphere and the Earth.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 How does this increase in CO 2 cause global warming? Most of the light energy from the sun is emitted in wavelengths shorter than 4,000 nanometers ( meters). The heat energy released from the earth, however, is released in wavelengths longer than 4,000 nanometers. Carbon dioxide doesn't absorb the energy from the sun, but it does absorb some of the heat energy released from the earth. When a molecule of carbon dioxide absorbs heat energy, it goes into an excited unstable state. It can become stable again by releasing the energy it absorbed. Some of the released energy will go back to the earth and some will go out into space. So in effect, carbon dioxide lets the light energy in, but doesn't let all of the heat energy out, similar to a greenhouse.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 How do Australians rate?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What do we need to do? We need to reduce our current CO 2 emission levels aswell as absorbing existing amounts of CO 2 which have been released in the past. Basically we need to reduce CO 2 levels by % by 2020 And 60-90% by 2050…..
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the solutions? Measurement – To reduce the levels of CO 2 in the atmosphere firstly we need to measure our current levels… Avoidance – The quickest and simplest way of reducing CO 2 is to avoid releasing it…. Reduction – If you can’t avoid releasing CO 2 then reducing the amount is the next best thing.. Offsetting – What ever is left over can be absorbed back into the earth via offset solutions…
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Measuring CO 2 levels… (Link to web calculators…Paul do you have any preferred sites to goto???) The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Activity have a Tree Carbon Calculator
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Avoiding & Reducing CO 2.. Drive less Less Domestic & International Flights Use less energy Solar Hot Water Triple A shower heads Community Gardens Eat locally produced foods Eat fruit and vegies in season
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Offsetting CO 2 emissions…. Carbon Offsets A carbon offset is a project or activity that reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or sequesters carbon from the atmosphere that is used to compensate for GHG emissions from another project, activity, or business. The first step is to estimate your emissions. their business as a whole; Businesses can then purchase ‘credits’ from emission reduction or carbon sequestration activities occurring at another location to offset their calculated emissions.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Offsetting CO 2 emissions…. Carbon Offsets Offsetting can be an effective component of a strategy for mitigating GHG emissions because GHGs tend to have a long life span and it is the levels of GHGs at a global scale that are important. This means it is not necessarily relevant where gases are emitted or reduced, as the effect on the atmosphere is the same. Offsets are usually measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, and can be sourced from a variety of projects that reduce or sequester emissions of one or more of the six key greenhouse gases.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Why have offsets become such a hot commodity? Companies are exploring carbon offsets in response to regulatory requirements as well as voluntary commitments. On the regulatory side, offsets help companies cost- effectively achieve GHG reduction targets such as those set out in the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme.European Union Emissions Trading Scheme Voluntary purchases of offsets may occur for a range of reasons, including:
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Why have offsets become such a hot commodity? meeting business goals to reduce greenhouse footprint as part of a carbon management strategy. preparing for an emissions trading scheme or other regulatory mechanisms, including gaining market experience. enhancing brands and/or differentiating products and/or services in the market attracting investors particularly in light of increasing awareness of risks associated with GHG emissions in carbon constrained future. engaging employees on environment issues.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What is Carbon trading? Carbon trading is an administrative approach used to control CO 2 by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of CO 2administrativeeconomic incentives Carbon Trading links the sequesters of CO 2 and the emitters via an agreement either for voluntary or regulatory reasons.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the buyers of Carbon looking for? Is it clear exactly what is being offered? For example does the offset provider specify the source of the emissions credit? Can the buyer select credits from a specific project as opposed to a credit arising from a portfolio of projects?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the buyers of Carbon looking for? Can the offset provider demonstrate that the offsets meet their quality requirements? For example, would the project(s) have happened without the GHG offset market? Can they demonstrate that the offsets are not sold to multiple-buyers?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the buyers of Carbon looking for? Does the offset provider create offset credits in line with a standard or regulation? Have the offsets been validated against a third- party standard by a credible source?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the buyers of Carbon looking for? Does the offset provider sell offsets that will increase in the future? If so, how long into the future, and can they explain why they need to "forward sell" the offsets? How will they compensate or make good if the project doesn’t deliver the expected emissions reductions?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the buyers of Carbon looking for? Continually review their carbon management strategy. In most instances, onsite reductions are the most cost effective way to achieve their business goals or targets. Communicate their actions. Let their staff, their stakeholders and customers know the steps they took to purchase their offsets. Be transparent about which offsets they purchased and the standards to which they were accredited.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the main types of offsets available? Bio-sequestration The most popular form of offsets in the voluntary market at present relate to biosequestration (eg. forestry projects). Trees soak up carbon, and thus can reduce the quantity of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. The quality and aims of biosequestration offset products vary widely, and not all of these products meet the strict requirements necessary to be verified against offset standards.standards The permanence of these products requires particular attention, however when appropriately planned, these plantations can have co-benefits, such as counteracting salinity and improving biodiversity.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the main types of offsets available? Energy efficiency A number of options for energy efficiency offset products are available, ranging from major upgrades of manufacturing processes to distribution of energy efficient products. As identified in a report by RMIT’s Global Sustainability Institute, "energy efficiency offset products have some perceived risks relating to the accuracy and reliability of baseline measurement and changes over time in energy use. " However these projects can also have co-benefits of education and long-term behaviour change.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the main types of offsets available? Renewable energy Renewable energy offsets can include wind, solar, biomass and other renewable energy sources, which help reduce reliance on fossil fuel sources. However there are questions over whether renewable energy offset products meet additionality criteria in more stringent offset standards.additionality Despite this, the use of renewable energy can play an important part in a carbon management strategy.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What are the main types of offsets available? Greenhouse gas avoidance, capture and destruction projects. These are usually located on industrial sites, and can range from capture and/or flaring of landfill gases to destruction of HFCs in large industrial processes. These often target the less common, but more potent greenhouse gases, such as methane, HFCs, etc.methaneHFCs While these offset products are available in Australia, they are presently less common than other types of offset products described in previous slides.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Are there any standards? NSW GHG Abatement Scheme (GGAS) AGO Greenhouse Friendly Abatement Verification Guidelines Origin Energy Carbon Reduction Scheme (CRS)
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Carbon Offset Providers RMIT recently released a report on Carbon Offset Providers in Australia 2007 The handout you have summarises all of the Australian products available
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 As a grower or seller of carbon what are you looking for? Carbon trading is value adding to the existing plantation. Don’t want any agreement interfering with my current practices and objectives. What happens when I harvest my trees? What about during thinning? Where are my credits being used?
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Carbon trading is value adding to the existing plantation. Growers need to remember that the true purpose of growing plantation timber is for the harvesting of saw logs over a long period of time for economic benefits. Carbon credits may help in covering the cost of establishing the plantation, but will only value add to the total long term economic return of the plantation.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Carbon trading is value adding to the existing plantation. However, the market is emerging and will grow as demand increases. The advice is to ‘shop’ around and get the best agreement for your circumstances. It may not just be ‘price’. It could be a number of factors. What is important is to make sure you stick to your original objective with your plantation.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Don’t let any agreement interfere with your current practices and objectives ‘Value Adding’ means to only add in the order of 10 –20% to the total economical benefits. Make sure you don’t ‘lock’ into any agreements that restrict your capacity to deliver the long term saw log potential of your plantation. If they do, then look around, products do exist that will suit your needs.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What happens when I harvest my trees? This will depend on the ‘agreement’ you enter into. The Kyoto agreement does not recognize that wood products can be used without releasing carbon for upto 100 years. Therefore when you harvest you may need to find an offset for this emission. ‘Shop’ around products do exist that allow for plantation harvest without having to pay for carbon.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 What about during thinning? Should not have any impact on the sequestering of carbon. However, ensure you are clear on any restrictions when entering into any agreements.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 Where are my credits being used? Some buyers of ‘carbon’ maybe on selling your carbon to emitters that have no intention to reduce their own emissions. Some products use your carbon to offset against practices that emit carbon including land clearing or manufacturing that should be avoided due to regulatory reasons. Your trees could be offsetting practices on the other side of the world. Your credits could be contributing to the ‘license to pollute’, rather that encouraging a reduction in emissions.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 General Guidelines for growers…. Buyers want you to lock your trees away, for atleast 70 – 100 years. The longer the better and better the price. Trees to be planted on cleared land after Trees had to be planted by humans intervention. The land practice is to have changed. Kyoto will ‘pay’ for trees planted after 1990 but only for carbon accumulated between 2008 and Some buyers will purchase carbon between 1990 and Covenanted land will provide the greatest certainty and hence price.
BIFFN Carbon Day Aug 2007 General Guidelines for growers…. Quality assurance remains the biggest challenge Australian offset providers lag behind UK and US peers. Providers lack transparency and availability of information for both buyers and sellers.