Carbon Farming Initiative a world first

Monday, August 29, 2011
The Carbon Farming Bill passed by the Australian Senate is the world's first national scheme that regulates the creation and trade of carbon credits from farming and forestry. It is the first major legislation passed by the government with Greens support in the Senate since the Greens took the balance of power on July 1. "Green carbon is one of the four pillars of the climate package, alongside putting a price on pollution and investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency," Greens deputy leader Christine Milne said.

Australian industries which buy carbon offsets will need to ensure at least 50 percent of the offsets are domestic credits. The government estimates the carbon farming initiative will help cut Australia's carbon emissions by 460 million tonnes by 2050. "There is increased interest in the CFI from across market and the first wave of investment activity will start to unfold now the Act has been passed," said Martijn Wilder, global team leader for environmental markets at law firm Baker & McKenzie in Sydney. "But the really significant activity under the CFI will come with the approval of carbon pricing laws."

The Opposition strongly opposes putting a price on carbon and will scrap the scheme if it wins the next election, due in the second half of 2013. It would have to wait until mid-2016 before they could win enough seats in the Senate to repeal the carbon laws, and its direct action plan for tackling emissions could be delayed until 2018, according to Reuters. These and many other issues will be canvassed at the Carbon Farming Conference, 27 - 29 September, 2011 in Dubbo NSW.
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