Climate Asset Management Acquires Farmland in Australia

Specialist natural capital asset management firm Climate Asset Management has completed the acquisition of c.1,800 hectares of farmland in Queensland, Australia. The acquisition has been financed by Climate Asset Management’s Natural Capital Fund.

Climate Asset Management was formed in 2020 as a joint venture of HSBC Asset Management and specialist climate change investment and advisory firm Pollination.

This latest agriculture project will see the transformation of high-intensity former sugar-cane-farmed land into a sustainably managed, native, and high-value, Macadamia orchard, cultivated and harvested using regenerative practices and adopting a holistic land management approach. There will be significant conservation of water resources, through the implementation of water efficiency strategies and precision agriculture techniques. 

The project will also see up to a 50% reduction in synthetic fertiliser and chemical pesticides. The change in management practices is expected to have a positive knock-on impact on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by reducing chemical runoff and sediment.

The project, which is located between two national parks, will allocate around 10% of the land area to native habitat restoration. The restoration project will target the propagation of a critically endangered flora species as well as a range of other species and improve connectivity between the national parks. The project is planning partnerships with a range of stakeholders and a local herbarium.

The project aims to achieve net zero for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and to generate additional carbon removal units through increasing carbon storage in above and below-ground biomass.

It also aims to advance the understanding of carbon removal by perennial agriculture systems to inform the development of appropriate methodologies in both the international voluntary and Australian compliance markets.

“We are excited to have made our first Australian acquisition for the fund.  This native macadamia project complements the fund’s existing Iberian projects in Spain and Portugal producing almonds and olives and demonstrates the viability of our model across geographies,” said Ben O’Donnell, Chief Investment Officer of Climate Asset Management’s Natural Capital Fund.

“We are experiencing increasing appetite from investors for opportunities in natural capital to help diversify and rebalance investment portfolios targeting net zero.”