Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Carbon Farming Express is arriving - but will all the carriages be there?

GOOD NEWS! The DOIC will be ready to receive Meths in a matter of two weeks. (DOIC - the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee - the Government-appointed expert panel tasked to assess 'meths' and recommend to the Minister whether to register them for use by farmers and landholders to earn carbon credits, or offsets. 'Meths' is shorthand for Methodologies which describe the way they will reduce emissions or increase carbon capture or sequestration.)
Our meeting last Friday with officials from key sections of the two departments responsible for the Carbon Farming Initiative - Climate Change and Agriculture - we learned three other important things: 1. The early practices to be certified include savanna burning, deforestration, manure management in piggeries, and landfill gas. 2. An interim Template for submitting Meths will be released next week so we can get a 'head start'... 'as soon as possible'... 'can be used to submit immediately'... 3. The next time we see the legislation will be when it is tabled in Parliament. The Departments expect delays for soils and livestock and are 'scoping the research phase' - deciding which practices will get the money based on the amount of abatement possible, the state of the science, the information gaps, and barriers to adoption. Expectations may be low, but what's in the meths that will soon be exposed to the DOIK? Solutions arrived at by non-scientific enquiry, more like a design exercise - innovation and creativity. That's what offsets trading is all about.

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