As some 70,000 global climate delegates justify their own remarkable carbon footprint to attend COP-28 in Dubai, the hot topic of whether polluting industries should get out of "jail for free" thanks to regenerative farmers will continue to be debated at home on World Soil Day.
Consulting ecologist Bill Hurditch, from The Fifth Estate, argues in favour of sustainable grazing practice as a panacea for Australian emissions reduction, saying if the best 10 per cent of the nation's current grazing land was harnessed for soil carbon sequestration, 20pc of our national emissions could be written down.
"Right now there is a huge opportunity to build soil organic carbon," says Dr Bill Hurdtich.
"This is about rebuilding production of the farm and give back to the bank account eroded by over-use of spending soil capital, rather than just the interest.
"Practice change, not politics, are needed to meet climate reduction targets."
A recent Australian Carbon Credit Unit creation event under the Carbon Farming Initiative's Soil Carbon method, for two properties in Central Queensland showed that, over the five year period, between 10.6 and 12 tonnes of CO2-equivalent was sequestered for every tonne of livestock grazed on the two properties.
"This was after accounting for all operational emissions, including enteric methane," Dr Hurditch points out.
Pulling down carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through land use is tried and tested and cost-effective.
Carbon sequestration in the farming landscape context typically costs between $10 and $50 per tonne compared to $230/t using Direct Air Capture, in which CO2 emissions are compressed and forced underground.
A current trial proposal by mining giant Glencore to inject CO2 from a coal-fired power station at Millmerran, Qld into the Great Artesian Basin on the Western Downs has already angered pastoralists.
As to whether farmers might be propping up the fossil fuel industry with their potential to mitigate climate pollution, Dr Hurditch said that claim is a non-sense.
The Safeguard Mechanism does allow unlimited ACCUs to be used to meet the baseline, but there will be an economic limit due to demand.
Meanwhile, international protocols require a maximum of 10pc of emissions can be 'offset' by applying carbon credits, with the rest met by direct emission reductions by the polluter.
"The intention is to transition those manufacturers towards sustainable energy use without relocating offshore," he says. "The Safeguard Mechanism is designed to incentivise existing industries to stay in Australia.
"Don't fear the ACCU, embrace it. You can think of them as a bridge from high emissions to low emissions."
Meanwhile, there is more governments can do to encourage soil carbon sequestration - like subsidising fencing wire and water points.
A $54 million federal soil analysis program designed to baseline farmland was started then abruptly stopped under current budget tightening measures.But such a scheme is necessary argues Dr Hurditch, if we are to see our way forward.
Northern Ireland has recognised the importance of this basic rigorous data set and is spending 45m pounds to sample soil organic carbon on every farm.
With all of agriculture contributing to a useful and credible increase in carbon sequestration, then everyone is a winner," he says. "But to get there requires trust, accessible information and advisors."
His advice for farmers is simple - you don't have to be a bubble watcher or a boffin of climate science to understand the mechanics of growing soil.
"It's about bringing every farmer on-board," he says.