Friday, April 06, 2007
NFF comes up trumps on trading
The National Farmers' Federation has come out against a carbon tax and in favour of soil carbon credits.
In a submission to the Prime Minister's taskforce on emissions trading, president David Crombie said the NFF favoured a national emissions trading scheme. Farming had the potential to sequester emissions, he said. Carbon sequestration could be done through management of livestock, fertilisers, vegetation and soil.
Mr Crombie also opposed a carbon tax. Any additional impost on farm inputs and outputs would increase production costs and make agriculture less competitive in overseas markets, he said.
Mr Crombie pinged the Prime Minister for his boasting claim that Australia would meet its Kyoto obligations.** The NFF said farmers' efforts in curbing land clearing had enabled Australia to largely meet its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. He said that these emission cuts were valued at $500 million* but the cost had been borne by farmers — an "enormous inequity", he said. Farmers also planted 20 million trees each year. Any policy should provide "full recognition of this annual contribution by the farm sector", he said.
The NFF also took aim at 'forests' or tree plantations. Mr Crombie said limits should be placed on carbon offsets for large-scale tree plantations in high rainfall areas. Any developments should be subject to full planning consent, including water impacts, he said.
*Carbon trading industry sources have valued the foregone clearing at $1.8billion.
**This is not true. Demand for energy has pushed Australia well past its target emission limit which itself was set very favourably by the Kyoto negotiators seeking to get Australia to support the scheme.
Posted by Michael Kiely at 7:55 AM