Landowners in Queensland are able to grant rights over the carbon in part or all of their land as a carbon abatement product under the Commonwealth Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative. A carbon abatement interest provides for the exclusive legal right to the economic benefits of carbon sequestration on the land. Carbon abatement interests are capable of being registered as interests in freehold, State leasehold, unallocated State land, State forest or reserve and the legislative provisions differ for each tenure.
Once registered, rights will be recognised interests in Queensland that provide for the right to carry out an eligible sequestration project for carbon abatement products on land in Queensland under the Carbon Credits (Carbon Farming Initiative) Act 2011 (Cth). The Carbon Farming Initiative provides a potential extra revenue for landowners, either by granting the carbon rights to someone else for valuable consideration, or as a grant to themselves to access the carbon credits under the Carbon Farming Initiative.
There are a number of criteria that must be met for the creation and registration of carbon abatement interests in Queensland. The interest can only be registered if:
- the proposed grantor of the interest is the owner of the land; and
- the Registrar of Titles is satisfied the owner (proposed grantor) is the holder of the right to deal with the carbon abatement product for the land; and
- all holders of a registered interest in the land whose interest may be affected by the proposed carbon abatement interest consent to the proposed grant; and
- there are no existing carbon abatement interests registered for part of the land to which the proposed carbon abatement interest relates; and
- documents are stamped with a duty notation evidencing the payment of transfer duties.
Where the grant is only over a portion of the lot, a survey plan showing the secondary parcel would also need to be registered.
For non-freehold land the State of Queensland would need to be a party to the grant.