Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I want the icing and the cake

When you hear soil carbon offsets called 'icing on the cake'.  This saying says there ain't much cake to be had anyway and it could all disappear tomorrow... In other words, don't take the money unless you don't need it. The new Guidelines for Submitting Methodologies reveals that the architects of the CFI regulations believe they have made the sequestration in soil and vegetation so unattractive that few will get involved. It says that landholders should only consider environmental plantings or soil carbon projects that improve productivity or have NRM benefits. This is because the Permanence Principle (or 100 Year Rule) is not likely to be attractive unless it is 100 Years of benefits for the farmer.  Trees should not be planted for offsets, in the first place. Landholders could consider trees for unproductive or eroded areas, or those that provide shelter for stock, create corridors for wildlife or improve water quality. They don’t want forests planted on land that has more profitable agricultural uses. We agree, but who is to say what is degraded and what is profitable? A good carbon farmer can turn degraded land around.

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