6 September 2011 – The Carbon Farming Initiative which was recently passed through Federal Parliament brings a regulated carbon offsets market to Australia.

The CFI is a national scheme that provides accredited carbon offsets and will significantly enhance farm productivity as well as reducing the effects of climate change.

The implementation of the CFI is a building block toward a fully functioning carbon market in Australia.

At CO2 Australia, we firmly believe this is a positive step for the growing carbon industry. Under the CFI, carbon credits from activities occurring within Australia can be exported.

The CFI puts in place a framework for the creation of carbon offsets from a range of activities including carbon forestry, management of legacy waste emissions, better management of soil carbon and techniques to reduce methane emissions from livestock.

The benefits of the CFI are widespread: it is good for the environment; it is financially beneficial for farmers and it’s a big step in encouraging investment that repairs land degradation.

The CFI allows landholders to participate in carbon reduction projects including planting trees, increasing soil carbon and reducing on-farm emissions.

It provides a real opportunity to improve the Australian landscape, enhance farming productivity and mitigate the effects of climate change.

This initiative will also support projects that provide associated benefits to rural communities, the creation of new jobs in regional Australia, increased biodiversity through the planting of native trees in heavily cleared landscapes and soil improvements by arresting soil erosion and salinity.

The CFI will ensure the carbon offsets that businesses and individuals can buy are trusted and have real environmental benefits.

It establishes a robust system that requires carbon claims to be substantiated and well grounded in science.
Programs that provide carbon credits have to go through a strict process to ensure they comply with the rigorous criteria.

That way, when a person or company buys carbon offsets, there is confidence that the carbon has been removed from the atmosphere and you can be sure the activity has taken place.

The legislation will make it much harder for rogue operators to prosper and will ensure the credibility of our carbon emission offsets.

Companies looking to offset their carbon emissions now have a domestic source of carbon credits and do not have to move offshore to secure them.

Importantly, for CO2 Group’s existing clients the legislation allows for all existing planting projects to be registered under CFI.  As such, this provides great opportunities for our current clients.

At CO2 Group we have exposure to around 500 large carbon emitters – the CFI means we can now expand into a much larger international market.

CO2 Group is the largest provider of dedicated forest carbon sink plantings in Australia with more than 17,000 hectares under management. In addition, CO2 Group protects more than 2500 hectares of native bush.

The company has been operating since 2004 and was the first organisation to achieve accreditation for reforestation projects under both the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme and the Federal Government’s former Greenhouse Friendly Program.

Andrew Grant is Chief Executive Officer, CO2 Australia.
See the CO2 website