Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator released the new methods for generating carbon credits from savanna burning projects on Wednesday 8 May.

The new methods will allow project developers to earn offsets for carbon sequestration as well as emissions avoidance.

The changes to the savanna burning methods were developed after research revealed that savanna fire management, which consists of early prescribed burns to prevent late dry season wildfires, significantly increases the amount of carbon store in the landscape in the form of live and dead woody biomass.

The new methods allow existing and aspiring developers to incorporate this sequestration potential into their savanna burning projects, but first require them to acquire prior and informed consent from eligible interest holders and implement fire management plans that were not previously mandatory.

Developers must also choose either a 25-year permanence period, subject to a “risk of reversal” holding tax of 25%, or a 100-year permanence period, with a substantially lower tax rate of 5%.

The changes to the savanna burning legislation were officially announced by Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, on Tuesday 1 May.

A Department spokesperson said that while not all parties would be satisfied, the new methods were, “a substantial step forward, strengthening the foundation for the methods while providing an avenue for ongoing improvements.”

Previous to the new methods, developers of savanna burning projects could only earn credits from carbon emissions avoidance.

Existing developers who do not wish to move their projects to the 2018 savanna method may continue their projects until the end of the crediting period.

You can read the full details of the new savanna burning methods on the Clean Energy Regulator website. For more information on the new methods and what they mean for your projects, contact us.

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