For those interested in how to make money from carbon credits, here is an interesting example of a successful scheme from the Northern Territory of Australia. The WALFA project (West Arhnem Land Fire Abatement) certifies it will create a minimum annual carbon offsetting of 100,000 tonnes of cabon dioxide equivalent by controlling late-season wildfires. In return, Darwin LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) pays approximately $1 million per year to create a carbon abatement of 100,000 tonnes. Cheap at $10 per tonne. In 2007 the Northern Territory Government paid $130,000 to the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Center, $380,000 for indigenous employment, and $500,000 on vehicles and operations. The project is proudly proclaimed as producing ‘quadruple bottom line outcomes’: economic, environmental, social and cultural.
Original Caption: Plate 1: Long grass in West Arnhem Land.
Source: Lendrum (2007).
However, the project does not reduce emissions of CO2, but methane and nitrous oxide. As it states:
The WALFA project abates carbon dioxide equivalent in the form of methane and nitrous oxide only; the carbon dioxide released by fire is assumed to be reabsorbed by the landscape in the next growing season.
The technique is to apply cooler early dry-season prescriptive burns, so there are fewer hotter late-dry season burns. One would assume there is good scientific evidence to back up the claims that cool burns produce less methane and nitrous oxide than hot burns. I have sent off a few requests for data to support this, and will update the post when I hear from them.