Sunday, September 08, 2013

The New CFI: Coming Soon

The Federal Election here in Australia is likely to hand power to the conservative parties for the next six years, such is the maths of our democracy. The new Prime Minister, who has been reported as saying the argument behind Climate Change is “absolute crap”, campaigned on a “Scrap The Carbon Tax” platform. In the ranks of his party are many who deny man-made Climate Change.  Australia has been the great laboratory of land sector solutions to Climate Change .The Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI) is a ground-breaking innovation. The new government has promised to dismantle much of what had been built around the “Carbon Tax”. Does this spell the end of the CFI? No. There will be a new CFI. Let’s look at comments made by the new Minister for Climate Action, Greg Hunt:

Direct Action Webpage
“Under the Direct Action plan, soil carbons will be the major plank of our strategy,…

Speech to Sydney Institute, 30 May, 2013
1.     “The Carbon Farming Initiative will be expanded to include a wider range of emissions reduction methodologies.
2.      “We will support the application of methodologies that have been approved internationally, modifying for local conditions where required.” This is in response to complaints about the slow progress of methodologies, in particular the soil carbon meth.
3.     “The current system of methodology approvals has restricted people from engaging in potential projects, both in terms of time and scope,” he says.
4.     “The Clean Energy Regulator, will be responsible for approving the methodologies. It will ensure that the emissions reduction being claimed is genuine and verifiable”.
5.     “At present, the Clean Energy Regulator approves the viability of projects and issues recognition of abatement once it occurs. This method will continue”.
6.     “Methodologies that have been approved to date will be maintained. “
7.     “Registered projects will also be continued. “
8.      “We will unblock the approvals process, create a 25-year option for land-based sequestration and broaden the range of methodologies to include all forms of abatement such as cleaning up power stations and energy efficiency.”

ABC Online 5 September, 2013

“The Coalition intends to place Landcare back at the centre of our land management programs. The grants application process will be simplified and funding will be made triennially, to allow continuity of funding for projects. It is a recognition of the valuable work local Landcare groups undertake. We must ensure that they are part of the decision-making process with funding allocated at a local level, rather than in distant Canberra.”

House of Representatives Speech, 25 May, 2011

“The coalition supports the science and agrees to and supports on a bipartisan basis the targets that Australia has set but disagrees clearly, strongly and absolutely with the primary mechanism brought forward by the government to deal with this issue

“Let us give a fair reading to this legislation. Its objective is to help Australians reduce greenhouse emissions by contributing to the bipartisan five per cent reduction on 2000 emissions by 2020. It seeks to create incentives for farmers and landholders to undertake voluntary land sector abatement projects. These are principles that we in the coalition have set out, so the principles in this legislation are in agreement with those that we have put on the table. It seeks to give farmers some sort of incentive.

“We also want the inclusion of soil carbon in a constructive way from the outset… we want the construction of an acceptable set of rules around permanence… we want the construction of an acceptable set of rules around additionality…"

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