THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
SENATOR THE HON JOE LUDWIG
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
CARBON FARMING BRINGS FIELDS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR REGIONAL AUSTRALIA
The Gillard Government's Carbon Farming Initiative has today passed through the Parliament to establish a regulated carbon offsets market in Australia.
The Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Greg Combet, welcomed the legislation which fulfils the Governments commitment to give farmers, forest growers and other landholders access to international and domestic carbon markets.
Despite the sometimes bizarre efforts of the Opposition to prolong debate for over 16 hours in the Senate by attacking scientists and filibustering, farmers and other landholders across Australia will now have the opportunity to access new revenue streams through the Carbon Farming Initiative.
Carbon Farming rewards action on the ground, helping farmers become more resilient to changes in our climate, said Mr Combet.
The legislation gives farmers and landholders the certainty to invest in new approaches to reduce carbon pollution. It will enable farmers and other landholders to receive carbon credits for reducing emissions from livestock and fertiliser use, or increasing carbon in soils or vegetation, he said.
The carbon credits generated by landholders and farmers through the Carbon Farming Initiative can be sold to companies, like those currently participating in the National Carbon Offset Standard, so they can offset their carbon pollution, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Joe Ludwig said.
Carbon Farming recognises the major role agriculture can play in mitigating carbon emissions. I look forward to working with the industry as this initiative becomes a reality, Mr Ludwig said.
The Carbon Farming Initiative is underpinned by rigorous standards to ensure that offsets are robust and contains rules to safeguard food production, local communities and the environment, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus said.
Regional communities have already started to identify carbon farming opportunities and were expecting agriculture industries to come forward with more innovative ideas for reducing carbon in the coming months and years.
The Government is working in partnership with industry and scientists to develop more methodologies such as reducing emissions from landfills, manure management, savanna burning, and management of methane from livestock, Mr Dreyfus said.
The Administrator for the Carbon Farming Initiative will commence operation later this year, with eligible projects able to backdate credits to 1 July 2010.
Further information on the Carbon Farming Initiative can be found online at www.climatechange.gov.au/cfi.
TUESDAY, 23 AUGUST 2011