Agriculture dodged a bullet when it was left out of the CPRS… but for how long? Now Ross Garnaut is urging the Government to make the sector join the other big emitting industries, reducing or paying for its emissions, by 2015. Why? Because he is an economist and believes Agriculture is a big emitter and should carry its weight. But he also believes it will maximize the impact of the land sector on the challenge of climate change. He thinks we won’t get serious with land-based mitigation unless we are faced with having to change or pay. PM Julia Gillard dismissed the idea of covering Agriculture, saying it is ‘too complex’, ie. hard to measure. But it won’t be forever. SO for now we have a free run at earning offsets without the threat of joining the ranks of the cap and trade buyers.
PS. Professor Garnaut believe 2015 is a good time because it corresponds to the time when New Zealand’s Agriculture faces the full blast of the Emissions Trading System. They being a major competitor is a plus, he thinks. He doesn’t mention that NZ farmers are that nation’s biggest emitters and that they have no Carbon Farming Initiative. Their scientists convinced the Government that the land of the long white cloud has so much carbon in its soils it can’t fit any more in.
Here’s Ross in his own words in Garnaut Report 2011
“ The land sector, especially through biosequestration, has immense technical potential for reduction and absorption of emissions. Realising a small proportion of that potential through providing incentives commensurate with the sector’s mitigation contribution would transform the Australian mitigation effort. It would also greatly expand the economic prospects of rural Australia. Complementary incentives for biodiversity would help to ensure that the potential for carbon and biodiversity efforts to assist each other is realised.
“We are a long way from knowing how much of the technical potential can be realised economically. The linking of the proposed Carbon Farming Initiative with the carbon pricing scheme would open the way to realisation of that potential. This is an essential modification of the proposed Carbon Farming Initiative. Once it was linked to the carbon pricing scheme, the Carbon Farming Initiative would reveal the potential and define the extent to which it is economically relevant; it does this by providing for the emergence of an offset market for land sector abatement.
“In time, as the world shifts towards pricing carbon in farming, the Carbon Farming Initiative can be merged with the broader carbon price and fulfil its full mitigation potential.”
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said the carbon legislation won't include carbon emissions from farm production, as this is "too complex."
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