There is growing support, both within Australia and internationally, for substantial changes to the way rural land - particularly farmland - is managed, in an effort to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas abatement is part of the pressure that is redefining agricultural practices and the nature and extent of forestry in Australia in an attempt to meet international obligations (targets) defined in the Kyoto Protocol. While a considerable investment has been made to improve understanding of the processes of carbon emission and sequestration in the land sector, comparatively little effort has been devoted to understanding the social dimension of the massive changes that some expect landholders will have to make. In broad terms, the key social issues relate to the nature, scale and rate of change by individual landholders, geographical communities and industry sectors, but a full understanding of the key social issues is yet to be attained. For instance, many farming families and agricultural industries do not have the social and economic capacity to make widespread changes to current practices, even if alternative practices are highly desirable. Furthermore, there is great variation in the feasible options available to individual farming families, regional communities and rural sectors to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - forced change may see this disparity increase. This paper contributes to the debate in favour of carbon sequestration by providing information about appropriate and feasible change which is sensitive to the social context of rural Australia.