Garnaut pushes agricultural soil sequestration

Professor Ross Garnaut, climate change adviser to Julia Gillard, has suggested that soil carbon sequestration should be included in the government’s overall emissions reduction program.

When he delivers his final paper on climate change next month, Professor Garnaut will push the government to use funds raised by the carbon tax to further research into soil sequestration techniques.

Soil carbon sequestration is a method of reducing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. Sustainable farming techniques can significantly boost the level of microbes in soil, which increases the soil’s capacity to capture and store carbon in a stable state.

While the technology has not been widely explored in Australia, Professor Garnaut believes that soil sequestration could become a major factor in reducing emissions in Australia. In previous reports, Professor Garnaut has suggested that 14% of total carbon offsets could come from soil sequestration.

A soil sequestration regime could be both a significant force in emissions reduction and a profitable enterprise for Australian agriculture. Under Professor Garnaut’s proposed model, farmers who sequester carbon could then sell carbon credits in the planned emissions trading scheme.