Friday, March 25, 2011

Abbott Opposition backs Government's Carbon Farming plans

The Carbon Farming legislation has bipartisan support in Parliament, according to Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage, Greg Hunt. "This is something that should be embraced on all sides. And as we speak, the Government is preparing its carbon farming initiative. We support that approach because it's about using soil carbons, it's about capturing carbon in trees... and doing real things to reduce emissions," he said on ABCTV's Lateline on 23 March. "The important message that we can capture in our soils a reduction in global CO2 by improving the soil carbons, by improving the carrying capacity. So irrespective of where you stand on the climate debate, you improve the soil productivity, you improve the water retention, and this is one of the great opportunities and it's one of the reasons why I am fundamentally optimistic that with the right incentives we can reduce emissions, improve our water yield and improve our productivity."

Greg Hunt also answered the Farm Institute director Mick Keogh's constant mistaken claim that soil carbon won't be recognised internationally:

STEVE CANNANE: Soil carbon is not currently recognised under international carbon accounting rules. If that's the case, you've got a big hole in our emissions target, don't you?
GREG HUNT: Completely false.
STEVE CANNANE: That's completely false? It's not used - carbon soil ...
GREG HUNT: No, you're completely false, because as of 2012, one of two things will occur in the world. Either, a new international agreement will be struck which will include soil carbon. That's currently under negotiation with the United States and Australia engaged. Or there will be no international agreement, in which case nations will be able to pledge their own figures and soil carbon would also be admissible. Under either of those scenarios, soil carbon will be on the table.

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