Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recommendations to the Minister

“So you want to rewrite the rules to suit yourselves?” Dr Brian Fisher, ex-executive director, ABARE (Australian Farm Institute Conference, 2007)

The Soil Carbon Solution

The Carbon Farming & Trading Association recommends that the Government extend its policy of giving Agriculture special status in Climate Change policy to grant special status to soil offsets on the grounds that the benefits to the community and the environment are of such a magnitude that to allow accounting rules to deny us them is a perverse outcome of an equal magnitude.

We recommend that a special class of offsets for soil carbon be defined that will enroll as many farmers as possible to sequester as much carbon as possible as fast as possible.

We recommend that, to meet that objective, the 100 year rule be replaced by a range of time frames to allow flexibility.

We recommend that the environmental definition of additionality be adopted, by which all carbon added above the baseline is deemed additional.

We recommend that the common practice test for additionality be abandoned because it contradicts the objective outlined above.

We recommend that the ‘business as usual’ rule, which penalizes Landcare farmers and other progressive landholders who have taken up carbon farming techniques early and rewards laggards who continue to degrade their soils.

We recommend that the offset unit be initially offered on the domestic voluntary market as an interim measure while measurement and other issues are resolved.

We recommend that the Australian Government expand the ambit of its campaign within the IPCC to have the need to account for non-anthropogenic emissions deleted from Article 3.4 into a broader initiative to fashion a regime sympathetic to sectors subject to biological cycles such as Agriculture.

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