CO2 REDD line

Five years after Australia’s “direct action” pledge (John’s not Julia’s), We are seeing serious criticism by the Greens that the schemes overstated their aims, claims and were underachievers. If not total failures.

A brief background is: Australia started a global fund to fight forest destruction with the aim of halving the rate of deforestation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 3 billion tonnes a year. The politics of the day was convinced emissions reductions greater than 10 times that under Kyoto Protocol was possible, and born was the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) schemes in Indonesia.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 2012, published under the story “Credits lost in tangle of Aceh’s forest” that the Australian government and private sector schemes in Indonesia “have faltered or fallen spectacularly, recriminations flying”. Maybe even worst is the claims the REDD is yet to earn $1 for preservation of forests, and yet to generate a single carbon credit!

But can Julia save John from history recording his mistake? Can super Julia’s and her team ‘policy fix’ with a carbon-trading scheme, which begins its fixed price period on July 1, by saving a big supply of carbon credits sourced from a renewed vigor to direct action in other countries, and maybe save Indonesia’s forests.

Without needing Einstein to work it out, regardless of A bott’s hot air spittle, we need offshore credits to met targets modeled as 434 million tonnes a year by 2050.

As Australians, we can run but we cannot hide from it, we are large emitters from a small population and we cannot meet even modest greenhouse reduction targets without sourcing credits overseas. This will be especially true for our farmers under the Carbon Farming Initiatives, which has bi-partisan support.