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New award for carbon measuring system.

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PW 222/08 21 October 2008


Australian Government technology developed to measure greenhouse gases emitted from forestry, land clearing and farming has received another award - the CSIRO Partnership Excellence Award.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, congratulated the team of scientists from the Department of Climate Change, CSIRO, and the Australian National University that developed the system, known as the National Carbon Accounting System.

This National Carbon Accounting System provides Australia with a world-leading tool to measure greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks across Australia’s landscape.

This tool underpins Australia’s national emissions accounts and assists in devising ways to reduce emissions from land management activities.

In August, the National Carbon Accounting System won the Sherman Eureka Prize for Environmental Research.

“The Australian Government developed the National Carbon Accounting System in partnership with the spatial industry, the private sector, and State Governments,” Senator Wong said.

Globally, deforestation is occurring at a rate of about 13 million hectares per year. At the Bali Climate Change Conference, the world agreed for the first time that reducing emissions from deforestation in developing countries should be a part of a future international climate change agreement.

To help turn this agreement into practical reality, the world must first increase the capacity of developing countries to account for their forest carbon and Australia’s National Carbon Accounting System is providing the technological answer.

“Australia is already sharing this award-winning technology with the world,” Senator Wong said.

“Indonesia has expressed its intention to build an Indonesian national carbon accounting system and Australia is currently working with a team of Indonesian scientists and officials as part of the Indonesia-Australia Forest Carbon Partnership.

“We recently worked with China to help it build a carbon accounting system for the Guangxi Autonomous Region as a pilot project for a future national system.

“The National Carbon Accounting System was also selected from an international search by the Clinton Climate Initiative to be the basis for a Global Carbon Monitoring System, which aims to use carbon trading to benefit the environment and help alleviate poverty in the developing world.”

The highly sophisticated system involves remote sensing, information from thousands of satellite images, greenhouse gas accounting methods, and modelling of changes in our environment to monitor and account for emissions from land-based sectors.