Australian landholders unite for largest ever reforestation carbon aggregation

The largest ever Australian reforestation carbon aggregation has been successfully registered with the Clean Energy Regulator – it will see approximately 546,000 native and biodiverse trees planted across an area 220 times the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) by September 2022.

With less than one percent of Australia’s carbon market made up by native environmental plantings, the aggregation is a significant step towards tackling the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss through a scalable market-based solution.

Increasing the proportion of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) produced through native reforestation is a critical step towards holistically supporting the more than 1,800 species and ecosystems threatened with extinction in Australia alone, while simultaneously tackling a warming climate.

Delivered by Greening Australia and administered by its environmental credits business Canopy, the new 440-hectare Environmental Planting aggregation will produce an estimated 100,000 ACCUs, cementing Canopy’s position as the largest ACCU producer from biodiverse environmental plantings in the country.

Aerial view of light brown, uniform planting lines being created at West Australian site 2022.

Aerial view of planting lines being created at a West Australian site in 2022. Credit: Jesse Collins.

In 2023, Canopy and Greening Australia are targeting registration of a reforestation carbon aggregation covering ten times the land size of this one, at over 4,000 hectares across the country.

Greening Australia CEO and Canopy Chair Brendan Foran says the aggregation will deliver carbon sequestration and biodiversity improvement whilst enabling economies of scale for a greater financial return for landholders.

“This aggregation further exemplifies how we can deliver environmental, economic and social impact at scale via innovative nature-based solutions that produce high-integrity environmental credits. The aggregation enables us to unite landholders and other partners across the country to create meaningful and transformative action – for the benefit of people and nature,” Mr Foran said.

The aggregation brings together seven landholders across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, making it the largest private land aggregation by number of aggregated sites.

Key benefits for participating landholders include financial revenue generated from carbon credits and increased farm productivity by restoring degraded land and providing shade and shelter for livestock, as well as environmental outcomes such as habitat restoration and increased biodiversity. Projects will also generate economic opportunities for Traditional Owners and local communities.

A biodiverse mix of locally appropriate native seedlings ready for planting at a site in Western Australia. Credit: Jesse Collins.

For Gippsland farmer Tom Brown, being part of the aggregation has provided an opportunity to help restore the environment and improve the health of his land, whilst also generating a source of income:

“We’ve been planting on parts of our farm for years but working with Greening Australia will enable us to do this at a far larger scale. The important thing for us is also the biodiversity benefits that come from planting native species, because what we’re trying to do here is help the native fauna and reinvigorate the land. We’re lucky to live in a beautiful location, but I’m thinking more and more about our children and grandchildren and what sort of world and legacy we’ll leave behind for them,” said Mr Brown.

Steeply sloping landscape with a single, dark green tree and light green grass on a clear-skied day.

A section of Landholder Tom Brown’s Gippsland property that will be restored as part of the 2022 carbon aggregation registered with the Clean Energy Regulator. Credit: Tom Brown

Carbon Market Institute (CMI) CEO John Connor says: “CMI welcomes this aggregated environmental planting project as a significant step in the scale of the projects the carbon market can incentivise. Its environmental benefits will bring added value and importance as we seek to tackle both the climate and biodiversity crises using carbon markets, Australian Carbon Credit Units in particular, as an investment tool.”

Greening Australia delivers its large-scale biodiverse tree planting projects in ways that support landholder aspirations and complement existing land use, ensuring integration with property plans.

Learn more about Canopy

Landholders who would like to discuss getting involved are encouraged to register interest via our landholder portal.