Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The 100 Years Rule

1.   The 100 Year Rule is not based on science. It is a convention of uncertain origin. It is not based on the period required for a molecule of CO2 to cycle through the atmosphere, as is commonly believed. (See "The 100 Years Rule: Deal Killer or Price Support?")

2.   Offsets based on avoided emissions are no more or less secure than offsets based on sequestration. They cannot guarantee that the emissions avoided will remain avoided for 100 years.

3.   State Ministers of Lands are unlikely to allow Crown lessees to enter contracts that run longer than the lease itself.

4.   There have been very few programs established anywhere in the world with 100 Years ruling them in 2005–2012.

5.   There are precedents for a range of periods, based on achieving a range of objectives.

6.   Short periods can have long term effects, as farmers tend to renew stewardship covenants. A series of short term agreements can provide long term benefits.

7.   More than 95% of buyers of forest-based offsets say the co-benefits of carbon sequestration can add significant value to them.

8.    The statement that the carbon credits are merely a ‘bonus’, that the real benefit is higher production, demeans the CFI and the change it could bring and the blockage the 100 Years Rule represents.

9.    There are several options to the pure 100 Years Rule, including buffer pools, insurances, government guarantees, ‘banking’ offsets, hedging, etc.

10.                  There are entrenched attitudes in Australian society that farmers should provide ecosystem services to society for free. If landholders are to be paid, it should be made as hard as possible so farmers will not make ‘money for jam’, hence The 100 Years Rule.

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