Demystifying carbon projects: Soil carbon

The ‘Carbon Neutral Grazier Network’ provides the latest tips and information on positioning your business to take advantage of the rapidly evolving world of environmental markets and certification schemes.

This BeefConnect webinar recording delivers the second round of the ‘demystifying carbon projects’ series as part of this network.

As of April 2023, there are approximately 289 soil carbon projects registered under Australia’s Emissions reduction scheme; 73% of which were registered in 2022 following the previous federal governments $54.4 million commitment to support farmers and land managers to access low-cost soil sampling and certified testing in exchange for sharing their data under the Pilot Soil Monitoring and Incentives Program. Of the 45 projects that were registered early enough to have been issued Australian Carbon Credit Units, only one Victorian project has been awarded credits.

In this recording hear from:

  • Associate Professor Matthew Harrison (University of Tasmania)
  • 4th generation mixed farmer, Steven Hobbs (Kaniva, Victoria)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Beverley Henry (Queensland University of Technology).

These presenters deliver a robust discussion around soil carbon and soil carbon projects in Australia, including:

  1. Soil carbon markets: science or snake oil?
  2. Demystifying carbon projects (soil carbon) – a producer’s perspective
  3. Soil carbon project requirements and considerations under the 2021 ERF method

You can watch the full recording or use the playlist below to jump to the start of a particular section within the presentation (53:19; published 12 April 2023 by FutureBeefAu).

Download a copy of the presentations:

  1. Soil carbon markets – science or snake oil (PDF; 4.34 MB)
  2. Demystifying carbon projects – soil carbon (PDF; 1.78 MB)
  3. Soil carbon project requirements (PDF; 0.6 MB)

Additional resources

Full recording


  1. Soil carbon markets: science or snake oil? (Associate Professor Matthew Harrison – University of Tasmania)
  2. Indicative costs/income of soil carbon markets
  3. Soil carbon markets focus on ‘permanence’, but short-term carbon offers the greatest fertility benefits
  4. Practices that improve soil organic matter are to be encouraged
  5. Carbon markets attempt to decouple effects of climate from those in management
  6. For SOC “permanence” – practice changes must also be “permanent”
  7. Climate change generally reduces ability to sequester carbon
  8. Divergent aspirations: individual livelihoods vs societal public good
  9. The contentious issue of “additionality”
  10. Rethinking soil carbon payment mechanisms
  11. Summary: Soil Carbon Markets: science or snake oil?
  12. Demystifying carbon projects: Soil carbon (Steven Hobbs – Victorian producer)
  13. Starting a carbon project – some considerations
  14. Why do I need to change?
  15. Farm data summary – a comparison to the 139 year average, since 1990 there has been…
  16. This is what I’ve identified and need to do…
  17. S2F – “Safe-to-Fail” trial area/s
  18. Testing & Results
  19. Project requirement and considerations under the 2021 ERF method (Adjunct Associate Professor Beverley Henry – Queensland University of Technology)
  20. ERF methods for soil carbon credits
  21. Stages in a SOC project (part 1)
  22. 2021 SOC Method
  23. 2021 SOC Method: Planning and Decision Stage
  24. Stages in a SOC project (part 2)
  25. 2021 SOC Method: Options for ACCUs earned
  26. SOC projects are a long-term commitment with substantial obligations