Carbon credits are a tradable permit scheme. They provide a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by giving them a monetary value. International treaties set quotas on the amount of greenhouse gases countries can produce. Countries, in turn, set quotas on industrial emissions.
Industries that exceed their quotas must buy carbon credits for their excess emissions and industries below their quotas can sell their remaining credits. By allowing credits to be bought and sold, a business for which reducing its emissions would be expensive or prohibitive can pay another business to make the reduction for it.
This minimises the quota’s impact on the business, while still reaching the quota. In addition to the burning of fossil fuels, major industry sources of greenhouse gas emissions are cement, steel, textile and fertiliser manufacturers. The main gases emitted by these industries are methane, nitrous oxide, hydro-fluorocarbons, etc, which increase the atmosphere’s ability to trap infrared energy.
Our addiction to fossil fuels, coal and oil, has changed the quality of our air, water and earth. Our health is affected by toxic-related cancer. The cost of production, transport and storage of our food requires energy. Energy in solid, liquid and electrical form in ever increasing amounts.
Coal fired power stations are trying to clean up their efficiency. Nuclear power has negative issues. Wind, solar, hydro, tidal, geothermal and plant material (biomass) have all become more viable as the price of crude oil rises and supplies diminish.
These include: the effect of moderating oil prices, the “food vs fuel” debate, poverty reduction potential, carbon emissions levels, sustainable biofuel production, deforestation and soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, impact on water resources, as well as energy balance and efficiency.
HEMP is ENERGY (E=hempseed squared)
Biomass from food crops and their byproducts is used to make biofuel. Bast fibre crops include such species as Flax, Kenaf, Sun Hemp and Industrial Hemp.
The “hurd” is the inner woody core of the bast fibre plant’s stem. In general bast fibre crops produce the greatest amount of usable biomass, over the shortest period, for the least amount of water. Bast crops are a highly efficient mop crop and can use most types of waste or even brackish water.
Carbon credits credibility
Between 1.7 and 1.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere for each tonne of bast crop cellulose produced. We typically grow 10-14 tonnes of crop straw per hectare. Another 2-3 tonnes of cellulose mass is produced and stored in the root system. So each hectare of hemp could immediately sequester some 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Bast crops are able to sequester more carbon than trees in a short 150 day season cycle and yet leave arable land available for food and other crop production in the remainder of the year.
Growing Low THC Hemp under licence in NSW
The introduction of a licensing scheme under the Hemp industry Act 2008 allows farmers in NSW to grow low THC crops for fibre and oil production while limiting the risk to law enforcement.
It is an offence under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 to possess low THC hemp unless it was cultivated or supplied under authority of the Hemp Industry Act 2008.
Those wishing to grow low-THC hemp should be aware that the environmental assessment and approval process applies to the low-THC hemp industry, in addition to NSW DPI’s licensing requirements. Low THC hemp plant material cannot be fed to livestock.