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City carbon sequestration demonstration site signals start of new industry

NOVEMBER 2017. A new demonstration project of seedlings and mature trees has been officially opened in the CBD to better understand carbon offsets, which are increasingly being sought by business and others as part of their efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy.

A carbon offset can be generated from accredited activities that prevent or reduce emissions being released into the atmosphere, or that result in the long-term removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as carbon sequestration. Once accredited, certificates are issued for the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) stored or reduced. These certificates can be sold to those who want to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

The site next to Adelaide High School includes a mix of newly planted seedlings and existing mature trees and shrubs, thanks to the work by Greening Australia and Trees For Life, working with the City of Adelaide, Adelaide High School and the South Australian Government.

It is estimated that over 30 years, the plantings at this demonstration site will remove and store more than 50 tonnes of CO2e – equivalent to removing 15 cars from the road for a year.

In addition, the Government has launched an online mapping tool, a Guide to Carbon Planting in SA. This tool aims to help those seeking entry in the carbon offsets market to assess the potential opportunities and risks for carbon planting in each region of the state.

Minister for Climate Change Ian Hunter said this demonstration site will help residents and visitors to Adelaide see how carbon sequestration works, and how regions might benefit from expanding the local carbon sequestration industry.

"My hope is that this site is not only a demonstration of what carbon offsets are but will become a smaller replication of a larger carbon sequestration project that the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources will launch in coming months.

"Carbon offsets can help tackle dangerous climate change, help landholders earn income while also helping improve biodiversity and other environmental outcomes.

"I’m delighted that the Adelaide High School community have been actively involved in this demonstration site highlighting the importance of climate action for future generations."

Deputy Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said, "The City of Adelaide is proud to be a leader on climate change action. This revegetation project provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase to the City and school communities what a biodiverse carbon offset planting looks like, while demonstrating the important role that native plantings can play in creating a carbon neutral city."

Trees for Life CEO Natasha Davis said Trees For Life is committed to delivering revegetation projects across the State that benefit landholders, deliver carbon offsets and provide crucial habitat for wildlife.

"We look forward to a growing carbon offset market providing more opportunities for planting across the State."

Greening Australia Director of Conservation Stuart Collard said, "Investing in South Australian carbon credits from biodiverse plantings is an important step towards carbon neutrality that will benefit both the environment and South Australian communities."