I had always assumed that because of their enormous coal industry and a generally cavalier attitude to life, the Australian attitude to farming, climate change and carbon emissions was going to be on the lines of doing as little as possible for as long as possible in the whole area.

At gatherings in Belfast and Dublin over the last week, I listened to an Australian operator of cattle farms spell out how he increased the organic matter of some of his soils by 50% over a three year period but more to the point, sold the accumulated carbon credits to a company controlled by the Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates.