Ep. 46 - Ben Krasnostein (responding to climate risk)

Ben Krasnostein is the Principal and Managing Director at Kilara Capital. Ben is also the latest non-executive director of the Sustainable Australia Fund. He has over 20 years of experience across corporate, legal, advisory, commercial transactions, and deal structuring in a variety of industry sectors. 

Ben’s firm, Kilara Capital, aims to deliver long term regenerative environmental outcomes across Australia. Kilara has established its Food & Agriculture platform to develop a portfolio of real assets and private equity businesses capable of sustainably feeding the growing global population and contributing to a significant reduction in global emissions via carbon sequestration and other initiatives.

In this conversation with Ben, we cover a wide range of topics that sit at the intersection of technology, agriculture and climate adaption. Kilara is committed to funding innovative ways to generate positive carbon abatement outcomes, with a sharp focus on economic drivers and enabling transitional land use.

Rather than looking at how climate variability is impacting farming, this episode is focussed on what contribution farming can make to the massive challenge of reducing the global levels of atmospheric carbon. Ben is very positive about the role that Australian farmers can play in this process.

There is some great discussion about the current challenges associated with bio-sequestration of carbon as part of farming. While there are good programs already in operation to pay farmers for sequestering CO2E, there are also technical and regulatory hurdles that we need to clear to unlock the full potential of agriculture’s contribution. It’s exciting to hear about how farming systems in grazing, technological advancements in satellite analytics, and other systems and technological changes all have contributions to make.

The discussion also covers some more philosophical ground and compares the different ways that as consumers we can drive more outcomes. Ben and Sarah discuss the ways that initiatives like carbon offsetting factor into the wider fabric of carbon reduction, and debate the personal ethics and practical implications of this way of getting involved.

Overall, Ben provides us with a wide ranging view from a very important perspective, challenging us to consider how can we all, as consumers, farmers, and innovators, have a greater impact on this global and urgent challenge? 

Ben paints a positive and uplifting picture of ways we can all contribute, and gives encouragement to innovators taking up the challenge of providing the tools, systems, and capital we need to fully unlock the potential of soil carbon.

Other links from the show, and recommended reading/listening from Ben

This episode is the third in the theme, responding to climate risk, brought to you in partnership with Australian Farm Institute, an independent organisation conducting research into the strategic issues facing Australian farmers and the agriculture sector. Find them on social media @AustFarmInstitu an online http://www.farminstitute.org.au/.

Key takeaways