COP 15 – 15 December 2009 – Giles Parkinson, writing in Business Spectator today said Climate Change Minister Penny Wong “pretty much told the audience what they wanted to hear, saying that the switch to clean energy might not have been as fast as people wanted, but it would be unstoppable.

Said that Martin Parkinson, secretary of the department of Climate Change, “tried to puncture hopes of a ‘white certificates’ market for building energy efficiency,” which he said would be like having two bites of the cherry. ‘I am not a fan.’ (See what Ché Wall, managing director of WSP Lincolne Scott and Global Head of Sustainability for Lend Lease, Maria Atkinson say on this in TFE)

Parkinson also covered the terrestrial carbon debate: “Peter Cosier, from the Wentworth Group of Scientists, is getting pretty frustrated by the extreme positions around terrestrial carbon being adopted by the Liberals on one hand and the harder-line green groups on the other. As discussed in yesterday’s column, there is some controversy around Australia’s stance on LuLuCF, land use, land use change and forestry, which seeks to define rules on how emissions from things like reduced tillage, bushfires and drought are accounted for.

“Cosier feels caught between the attitude of the Libs, who seem to think that burying biochar and planting trees will be enough to solve the problem, and the hard-line greens who says all the emphasis should be on reducing emissions from industry. Cosier says it ignores the power of the markets. And he says the Australian government approach to the LuLuCF negotiations is right, because under current rules Australia’s carbon accounts could be “blown to pieces” by the impact not just of bush fires, but El Niño droughts.

“He says the LuLuCF and REDD (forest) mechanisms could transform the way the planet’s landscape is managed. “You will not recognise the Australian landscape in 20 years’ time if we can get the money to re-vegetate every water course – and all paid for by a carbon price.” The US proposed climate bill allows for 1 gigatonne of emission reductions to be sourced from international forest credits, or up to $30 billion, depending on the carbon price. If that sounds a lot, it’s just a little more than the bonus pool at Goldman Sachs this past year.” Read the whole report at:–pd20091215-YQQSD?OpenDocument&src=kgb

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