Thursday, February 21, 2008

Garnaut drops a big hint

There was good news for 'soilies' when Professor Ross Garnaut released his "Interim" report today. He is clearly serious about including agriculture in an emissions trading scheme as early as possible.

Our take-outs from the Report, and especially the passage below, are:

Climate change is URGENT for Australia because of Agriculture's exposure and our relationships with fragile nations in Asia.
Australia must act quickly to sequester large amounts of carbon.
Australian soils can potentially sequester large amounts of carbon.
Agriculture can be included in a trading scheme if it gets the same protection being considered for other "trade-exposed, emissions-intensive industries" (ie. coal mining and aluminium and other 'dirty' industries).
Issues that must be addressed: MMV and transaction costs.

The Carbon Coalition has maintained since the beginning that URGENCY would force the powers that be to loosen their rules once they realise the importance of soil in the short term action plan.

The relevant passagecan be found on page 47 of the Report. You can download the report at

"An efficient ETS would have as broad coverage of emitting sectors as possible within
practical limits imposed by factors such as measurability and transaction costs.
The proposals by the Task Group on Emissions Trading (2007) suggested relatively
wide coverage for an Australian ETS. The recently announced proposals for a New
Zealand ETS includes all sectors. Some sectors that are usually considered to be
difficult, like forestry, are to be included from the beginning, and others, like agriculture,
are to be included later, to allow time to develop ways to include them.
In Australia, there is considerable potential for sequestering large amounts of carbon
through changes in land and forest management and agricultural practices. It is
important that incentives to realise this potential are in place as early as possible in the
life of the ETS. Full inclusion of agriculture and forestry could require consideration of
measures available to other trade-exposed, emissions-intensive industries.

The Carbo Coalition's submission can be found at

A BIG HOORAY to those members who made submissions.

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