Greenhouse gas accounting for the land-based sector - Annette Cowie


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  • Trees integrated with ag production:revegetation: riparian protectionagroforestry: shelter belts, wood lots short rotation woody crops for biomass
  • Focus on northern tablelands (red), north-west slopes and plains (green) and lachlan (orange) catchments
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  • Greenhouse gas accounting for the land-based sector - Annette Cowie

    1. 1. Greenhouse Gas Accounting for the land-based sectorAnnette Cowie, Richard Eckard, Sandra Eady
    2. 2. Inventory  UNFCCC reporting  Kyoto Protocol Accounts
    3. 3. Emissions trading Mandatory:  European, NZ Emissions trading schemes  NSW GGASOffset projects International:  Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism  Voluntary Carbon Standard etc Australia:  National Carbon Offset Standard  Carbon Farming Initiative
    4. 4. Life cycle assessment – Carbonfootprint
    5. 5. International context Inventory reporting  GHG accounting UNFCCC  Kyoto Protocol All countries  Annex I countries Sectoral boundaries National scale IPCC Guidelines Emissions and removals
    6. 6. Industry context Offsets  LCA CFI etc  Carbon labels Businesses  Products or organisations Cradle to grave boundaries Farm scale Scheme Guidelines, StandardsEmissions reduction, removal enhancement
    7. 7. Inventory: What matters?Purpose: Assess contribution, compliance • Conservative • Consistent • Reflect anthropogenic drivers • Accurate?
    8. 8. National carbon accounting systemInventory
    9. 9. LCA/Carbon footprint: What matters? Purpose: Inform consumers, compare products, identify opportunities for mitigation • Consistent • Right incentive • Accurate
    10. 10. Pip Brock, I&I NSW, preliminary data forillustrative purposes only
    11. 11. Offset projects: What matters?Purpose: Quantify abatement, ensure integrity
    12. 12. Biochar system Reference system Fossil Biomass Biomass energy/carbon residue residue source Extraction Transport Transport Transport Pyrolysis to biochar and syngas Conversion to Composting energy carrier Distribution of Distribution ofDistribution of Distribution of compost energy carrier biochar energy carrier Fertiliser manufacture Distribution of fertiliser Soil Energy service Soil Energy serviceamendment (heat, electricity) amendment (heat, electricity)
    13. 13. Carbon Farming InitiativeNational Carbon Offset StandardCommence July 2011Abatement activities generate credits for trade in  Domestic voluntary market  International voluntary and compliance markets
    14. 14. Carbon Farming InitiativePossible projects Kyoto sinks: reforestation Kyoto emissions reduction: eg landfill, manure management, livestock methane, nitrous oxide from fertiliser Non-Kyoto activities#: eg soil carbon management, avoided deforestation, savanna burning#Excluded from Australia‟s Kyoto Protocol accounts
    15. 15. Offset projects: What matters?CFI Integrity standards: Offset projects must be Additional Measurable and Verifiable Permanent Conservative Internationally consistent Supported by peer-reviewed scienceAnd must avoid leakage Assessed by Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee
    16. 16. AdditionalityIs it new abatement? (“Abatement should be “additional” to “business-as- usual” if it used to offset emissions”) Required by legislation? Common practice? “Positive list”
    17. 17. Is it measurable?
    18. 18. Reforestation/ revegetation
    19. 19. Counting carbon in trees  Carbon makes up 50% of tree biomass  Predict carbon from allometric relationships 10 Heaton PF Ourimbah NFlog Above-ground biomass (kg) 9 Wabby NF 8 Mckenzie NF Myall Lakes NF 7 Hills PF Tooloom PF 6 Hannam Vale PF 5 4 3 2 1 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 Log dbh(cm)
    20. 20. Soil carbon management cropland management grazing management organic amendments: eg biochar
    21. 21. Soil carbon measurement No-till
    22. 22. Nitrous oxide emissions from soil Legumes in rotation Timing of fertiliser application Slow release fertilisers, nitrification inhibitors
    23. 23. Methane from ruminant livestock Herd management Pasture composition Dietary supplements Reflector Breeding for net feed efficiency Wind Reflector FTIR
    24. 24. Quantifying abatementDo we need to monitor it?Balance accuracy against transaction costs• Cost-effective accounting – Based on calibrated models (informed by baseline measurement?)• Credit based on modelled estimate rather than measured impact of practice
    25. 25. Is it verifiable? Verification based on implementing land management practice rather than measured abatement
    26. 26. Is it permanent abatement? “abatement should represent a permanent reduction in CO2 in the atmosphere”NSW GGAS forestry offset: “100 year rule” Registration on title: forest carbon rights, restriction on useKyoto CDM: temporary creditsCFI:  Aggregation (pooling) across properties  Risk of reversal buffer
    27. 27. Are „life cycle‟ emissionsconsidered? Emissions due to fossil fuel use, indirect (fertiliser, herbicide), and non-CO2 greenhouse gases should be included Increased soil N, by fertiliser, legumes or some organic amendments, will increase N2O - C credit for offset activities should be discounted for estimated increase in N2O
    28. 28. Are there offsite impacts?(Leakage) Biomass depleted at another site? Increased livestock numbers elsewhere? Increased emissions offsite, attributable to the project, should be included
    29. 29. Dealing with uncertainty Eg GGAS: discount for uncertainty “70% rule” Can only trade quantity for which 70% probability that actual sequestration exceeds traded C 9 8 7 6 Probability 5 4 3 2 1 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Estimated Carbon Stock Values (000 tonnes)
    30. 30. Dealing with uncertainty Eg GGAS: discount for uncertainty “70% rule” Can only trade quantity for which 70% probability that actual sequestration exceeds traded C 9 8 70% of estimated values are greater than 1,700. 7 6 Probability 5 4 3 2 1 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Estimated Carbon Stock Values (000 tonnes)
    31. 31. Will it be an effective incentive? Sufficiently attractive to encourage participation? Costs vs returns  Record keeping  “Monitoring”  Reporting  Audit Long term liability
    32. 32. „Factoring-Out‟ Kyoto Protocol accounting: Intention to “factor-out” direct human- induced changes from changes due to indirect human-induced and natural effects Give credit/debit for intentional actions
    33. 33. Average carbon stocks approach Credit/debit based on long term modelled average No monitoring Minimises transaction costs Rewards actions that give benefit, on average Rewards all equally Avoids need to “pay back” for natural fluctuations or trends
    34. 34. Conclusion GHG accounting for Inventory, Offsets and LCA have different purposes, use similar data and methods but give different results due to different boundaries Appropriate methods are a compromise between accuracy and cost; must provide the right incentive and preserve environmental integrity Need for better understanding of uncertainty, better models of processes eg methane, nitrous oxide
    35. 35. Accounting for offsets: Accept dynamic system Manage risk of impermanence Assign credit/debit for intentional actions Reward action, modelled estimate, not measured abatement Include whole system, all emissions, including off-site Combination of baseline measurement and modelling may be optimal for quantification Certainty and absolute accuracy not required Minimise transaction costs so encourage participation, to maximise abatement