Friday, March 18, 2011

Good riddance, Additionality

Additionality has disappeared! It was in the first Template For Submission of Methodologies under the Carbon Farming Initiative, but it slipped out somewhere in the second "Interim" template. It was there in 'Section 5: Baseline scenario' - 'Specify the procedures for identifying the baseline scenario most likely to occur in the absence of the ability to generate CFI credits. This may include analysis of financial or other barriers.' Ross Garnaut recommended that it be delisted. We recommended the same. As did others. (IS that 'common practice'?) Additionality is the absurd integrity provision which denies farmers access to offsets if the new land management practice they adopt increases production of vegetation (a co-benefit of soil carbon sequestration) or if several farmers in the district had adopted that change before him (broad adoption is the key to other co-benefits, including landscape regeneration)... based on the absurd proposition that the farmer 'would have done it anyway, so why should they earn offsets for it?' This is based on equally absurd assumptions: 1. 'Farmers automatically adopt management practices that increase production or lower costs.' Carbon Farming techniques, such as grazing management, have been around for 30 years. Why have they not adopted it before? (Perhaps because for most of that time science was 'proving' that it did not work and extension was rubbishing it.) 2. 'Farmers follow the leader when deciding on management practices.' Not when it is a new paradigm that challenges everything they learned from their parents, their teachers and their advisers to date. The suggestion that Additionality should apply to Agriculture could only be made in ignorance of farmer psychology.

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