Money from muck: Australian piggeries to cash in on carbon

SINGAPORE Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:24am IST

Piglets run on a dirt track during a pig race at Sydney's Royal Easter Show in this March 18, 2005 file photo. Australian pig farmers can earn tradeable credits for capturing methane from manure, the government said on Thursday under the first rules to be approved for use in a national offset programme.   REUTERS/Tim Wimborne/Files

Piglets run on a dirt track during a pig race at Sydney's Royal Easter Show in this March 18, 2005 file photo. Australian pig farmers can earn tradeable credits for capturing methane from manure, the government said on Thursday under the first rules to be approved for use in a national offset programme.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne/Files

Related Topics

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Australian pig farmers can earn tradeable credits for capturing methane from manure, the government said on Thursday under the first rules to be approved for use in a national offset programme.

Nearly 700 piggeries could benefit from the rules that set out how farmers can capture, measure and destroy methane from pig waste. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and is 21 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Under the domestic offset scheme called the Carbon Farming Initiative, land-based activities such as tree planting, better management of grassland burning or capturing methane from landfills can earn carbon credits. Camel culling is another scheme the government is considering.

The offsets, called Australian Carbon Credit Units, can be sold to large polluting firms to meet mandatory emissions reduction targets. Each ACCU represents a tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.

Parliament on Tuesday approved a national emissions trading scheme that starts with a three-year fixed price period in which big polluters are taxed for their greenhouse gas emissions before moving to full market trading by mid-2015.

Polluters can meet 5 percent of their obligations with ACCUs during the fixed-price period and up to 100 percent after July 2015.

The Carbon Farming Initiative is the world's first nationally regulated carbon offset market for the land sector and is meant to help farmers earn money for steps that reduce emissions and give steel makers, coal mines, refiners and airlines another way of managing their carbon costs.

In a statement, the government said methane-capturing equipment costs between A$75,000 and A$200,000 ($75,750 to $202,000) per piggery and that selling offsets could increase the return from each finished carcass by about A$3.45.

The methane can be burned to produce electricity or flared.

Nationally, the industry stands to earn millions of dollars if the rules are rolled out to all farms.

In an email to Reuters, the Department of Climate Change said greenhouse gas emissions from piggery manure management totalled nearly 1.2 million tonnes in 2009.

Sydney-based High Voltage Brokers said on Wednesday they had brokered what is believed to be among the first ACCU trades, selling 5,000 units at A$22.50 each for settlement on June 15, 2013.

The government is still working on the design of the registry that will manage ACCUs and carbon permits under the carbon pricing scheme.

(Editing by Himani Sarkar)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Republic Day

Reuters Showcase

Australian Open

Australian Open

Serena avenges French Open loss to reach quarter-finals.  Full Article 

Miss Universe

Miss Universe

Miss Colombia is crowned Miss Universe for 2015.  Full Article 

SAG Awards

SAG Awards

'Birdman' wins top honor from actors in march toward Oscars.  Full Article 

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh Politics

Bangladesh charges opposition chief with instigating attack on bus  Full Article 

Box Office

Box Office

Eastwood's "American Sniper" continues as U.S. box office juggernaut   Full Article 

Boko Haram Fight

Boko Haram Fight

Nigeria repels suspected Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri city  Full Article 

Akshay Kumar's Latest

Akshay Kumar's Latest

"Baby" is a smartly written, well-acted film  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage