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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 160

Senator Milne asked the Minister for Climate Change and Water, upon notice, on 7 November 2008:

What are the estimated implications for Australian forestry and land clearing emissions if the Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry emissions sectors were to be listed in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol.

Senator Wong (Minister for Climate Change and Water) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

Under the current international rules, countries can voluntarily elect to report emissions from different sectors (revegetation, forest management, cropland management and grazingland management) in the land use, land-use change and forestry sector under Article 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol. Emissions from land systems are highly variable and, after extensive analysis, Australia chose not to elect the Article 3.4 activities mentioned above due to the risk of non-anthropogenic events which we have no control over (e.g. wildfire).

If, however, in a post 2012 climate change agreement, land use, land-use change and forestry emissions sectors were to be listed in what is now Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol, all emissions from this sector would be included regardless (including Article 3.4 activities).

The inclusion of Article 3.4 activities causes Australia’s national emissions to fluctuate between levels that would make it impossible to meet our international obligations. The recently released Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper discusses this issue (see page 121) and shows the variability of emissions between 1990 and 2005 with and without Article 3.4 activities.