August 5, 2007

Tree-planting not the carbon-offset low-hanging fruit

Beware of seeing tree-planting as easy alternative for carbon offsetting. A carbon offset is a promise you made that a tree has to spend it's life paying for, during which anything can happen. It makes sense to investigate offsetting in renewable energy — invest in infrastructure and technology.

clipped from

Tree-planting schemes popularly used to offset carbon emissions do little to combat climate change, a think-tank says.

A paper by The Australia Institute released today accuses governments and businesses of exploiting such "fads" to avoid the need for real cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Downie said Australia needed a compulsory accreditation scheme for carbon offset projects.

He said there were strong grounds for excluding forestry-based offsets from an emissions trading system in Australia or least restricting their use.

"Tree-planting, or forestry, cannot secure real, measurable and permanent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions because sooner or later the forest will be felled, burned or destroyed," Mr Downie said.

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