The Labor Government today announced a carbon offsets scheme that will provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and landholders and help the environment by reducing carbon pollution. The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, said the government was releasing draft legislation and methodology guidelines for the scheme. “While there is still work to be done, the government is making these early drafts available now to give stakeholders more information on how the proposals described in the consultation paper released last November would work in practice,” Mr Combet said.“Potential participants in the scheme will be able to gauge how they might get involved and help to identify any gaps or unintended impacts of the legislation.
Carbon Farming Initiatives Released
“They will also be able to see the type of information that independent experts on the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee (DOIC) will be assessing in draft methodologies and the evidence DOIC will require to recommend a methodology to the government for approval.”
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Carbon Farming Initiative was part of the government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions and building resilience in farmers to prepare for climate variability.
“The initiative will allow for abatement from eligible activities undertaken by farmers. It is a positive way for forest growers and landholders to be involved in the carbon market and potentially open an additional income stream,” Minister Ludwig said “The priority for government is to build long-term certainty for participants and these early drafts will help industry and producer involvement in the development of this initiative.
“The initiative also includes communication activities for local producers to learn about carbon offset markets – some of this work will be done through Landcare groups and local networks.”
Information will continue to be released as details of the scheme are developed and the government makes further progress towards implementation.
Additional legislative provisions for carrying out offsets projects on Indigenous lands and projects under the joint implementation mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol will be released early in 2011 for consultation with Indigenous communities and other stakeholders.
The government has invited feedback on the details of the scheme which will be used to help prepare final legislation and guidelines following closure of the consultation paper submission period on 21 January 2011.
Further information on the Carbon Farming Initiative is available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website at: http://www.climatechange.gov.au/cfi.