Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In search of a "Meth"

A 'Meth' is insider's lingo for 'a Methodology', ie. a process for generating a carbon offset under a program like the Carbon Farming Initiative. Carbon Farmers of Australia (the not-for-profit trading arm of the Carbon Coalition) is part of a consortium that includes carbon offset pioneer Ken Bellamy and IT object technology pioneer and farmer Gerry Carroll. This consortium is dedicated to breaking though the barriers against soil carbon offsets by innovating around the Integrity Standards and Measurement requirements set down in the Legislation.
If you hear the comment "They're only in it for the money..." please explain: all methodologies submitted to the Government's expert panel are, on approval, made freely available online so anyone can pick them up and use them and make money from them. This doesn't seem fair - to hand over intellectual property for free - when collectively the consortium members have invested more than $1m to get to this point. We have suggested to the Government that it follow the example of the Verified Carbon Standard and allow the methodology developer a small licence fee whenever it is used.
Why do this? To encourage innovation (which is one of the Government's objectives). We believe that there are people sitting on 'meths' that could get the process of restoring soil health, afraid that they will lose the value of their 'invention'.

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