Sunday, November 21, 2010

Highlights of Draft Design of Carbon Farming Initiative, Part 3

Unlike most markets around the world, the CFI is legislated. Its reason is they want to 'provide long term certainty to participants': The fundamental principle behind the Government's approach is this: Buyers are the most important participants because unless they feel confident that they are getting what they paid for, they won't buy. For this reason, offets must meet the most stringent standards... "To underpin the environmental integrity and market value of carbon credits, abatement will need to meet internationally consistent integrity standards." But if the Integrity Principles make it too hard for farmers they won't change their land management practices or maintain the change if they have already made it. The Scheme has 2 Design Principles that are in contradiction. Design Principle 1: "Ensuring environmental integrity - credits that represent genuine and additional emissions abatement will have a higher market value and help address climate change." Design Principle 2: "Enabling broad participation - clear and simple rules will keep administrative costs low and ensure that farmers.. can benefit from the scheme." The contradiction: The Government will not achieve broad participation if it insists on a strictly by-the-book Kyoto approach to issues such as Additionality and Permanence. The barrier to purchase is not ultimately fear of being short changed. It is ignorance of the urgency of the need to get every farmer in Australia and the world to capture and hold as much carbon in their soils as possible, for as long as possible because, unless they do, the chance of limiting global warming to an increase of 2°C is gone. (See the facts at Only Soil Carbon Can Keep The Lid On 2°C)

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