Australia has led the charge on proposed land-use rule changes to the new global climate deal. The changes would open the door to the bonanza of green carbon that could be stored away in the world’s rural lands. UN figures show Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 82 per cent since 1990, largely as a result of bushfires and drought. An Australian climate change negotiator has reportedly said the country could cut its emissions by 25 per cent by 2020 if it could count land use changes.
But the move is deeply dividing the Copenhagen conference, as Australia – and other big players – have been accused of trying to pull off an accounting rort. Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne, who is in Copenhagen, says the proposal is dishonest. (Read More)
“You need to reduce your emissions from fossil fuels and you need to sequester carbon in the landscape and protect your forests as carbon stores, but that isn’t happening,” she said.
“What we are seeing is dishonest systems so that we’re going to end up with something that doesn’t actually save the climate.”
biosequestration can be difficult to accurately measure but reasonable estimates are probably not that difficult
it’s better to have biosequestration in Australia where we have greater ability to verify it accurately than buying carbon credits from developing countries where verification is often impeded by weak institutions and powerful vested interests
a bigger problem for australia is the desire to access one side of the carbon accounts ledger – biosequestration – while demanding that we be excluded from the negative side – deforestation, bushfires and drought
However,with climate change, bushfires and drought will get worse, making it ever harder for australia to show positive net sequestration under LULUCF
I can’t see how we could have an ETS in australia that excludes agriculture on the emissions side but includes it for biosequestration – and still champion LULUCF to the rest of the world without being accused of rank hypocrisy