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Carbon credits for native tree plantings and better piggery manure management



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S e n a t o r t h e H o n . J o e L u d w i g

M i n i s t e r f o r A g r i c u l t u r e , F i s h e r i e s a n d F o r e s t r y

S e n a t o r f o r Q u e e n s l a n d

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP Cabinet Secretary

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

MEDIA RELEASE

MD 32/11 27 June 2011

CARBON CREDITS FOR NATIVE TREE PLANTINGS AND BETTER PIGGERY MANURE MANAGEMENT

Landholders may be able to earn carbon credits for permanent plantings of native trees on their land under the Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI).

The proposal is the next ‘methodology’ to be released for public comment under the CFI, a carbon offsets scheme that will financially reward farmers and landholders for reducing Australia’s carbon pollution.

Also out for public consultation today is a methodology to improve manure management in Australia’s piggeries.

Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Mark Dreyfus welcomed the release of the two methodologies.

“Environmental plantings can help rehabilitate degraded farmland, improve dryland salinity, reverse soil acidity and provide habitat for wildlife.”

“As well as opening up a new revenue stream for landholders and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, environmental plantings have the potential to improve the landscape’s resilience to the effects of climate change”, Mr Dreyfus said.

The methodology on manure management provides guidance for intensive piggery operators in Australia to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate carbon credits through the collection and combustion of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

“With 682 piggeries in Australia, this methodology is generating a lot of interest in the industry”, Mr Dreyfus said.

In piggeries, most methane emissions are produced through manure that is collected in uncovered lagoons. By covering those lagoons, operators can capture the methane and burn it, releasing a less potent greenhouse gas.

Capturing the gas also presents an opportunity to install an electricity generation system.

“Some piggeries may generate enough electricity to sell offsite and generate some extra income, in addition to the carbon credits they will receive through their project” Mr Dreyfus said.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, said this was more good news for the agricultural sector.

“A carbon offsets scheme that pays farmers to reduce pollution is great news,” Minister Ludwig said.

The draft methodologies are open for public comment until 26 July 2011, and will then be assessed by an independent committee of experts to ensure they lead to real and measurable emissions reductions.

The Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee brings a range of expertise to these assessments, including science, technology and greenhouse gas measurement approaches.

Copies of the draft methodology and further information on how to submit comments and the Carbon Farming Initiative is available on the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website at: www.climatechange.gov.au/cfi

Media contact: Fiona Webber 0478 170 650