Saturday, December 10, 2022

Research claims widespread fraud in Australia’s official carbon reduction plan

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Australia’s 11-year-old carbon credit scheme aims to reward farmers, landholders and other businesses for storing carbon in trees, soil or using a variety of methods to cut emissions.

For every ton of greenhouse gases stored or contained, projects registered under Australia’s official $3.4 billion Emissions Reduction Fund receive a carbon credit. A credit is essentially a certificate or permit that allows the holder to emit one ton of greenhouse gas.

Most of the credits have been purchased by the government in Canberra, while a growing number are privately traded by companies that seek to offset their own emissions.

However, new research has uncovered perceived wide discrepancies in the system.

The study was carried out by Andrew Mackintosh, a law professor at the Australian National University, who was involved in the development of the initial plan.

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that most credits do not represent actual or additional carbon reduction.

“What we’re doing at the moment is a collection of things in a number of ways; issuing credit for not clearing forests that were never going to be cleared, issuing credit for growing trees that just don’t. is, or issuance of credit for growing trees that are already there, or in the case of landfill gas, giving credit to people capturing and combusting methane in conditions where it would have been done anyway because It is commercially viable to do so,” he said.

The Macintosh calls for canceling the entire program and starting the process all over again.

In response, Australia’s clean energy regulator, which runs the initiative, said it would assess the research.

However, it has insisted that the projects it manages are carefully monitored. The regulator rejected claims in the study that between 70 and 80% of the carbon credits issued were essentially worthless.

Australia’s centre-right government last year pledged to deliver net zero emissions by 2050 “in a pragmatic, responsible way … while preserving Australian jobs and creating new opportunities for industries.”

However, campaigners have argued that the government’s strong support for fossil fuel industries is environmentally irresponsible.

Australia has a high rate of emissions per capita because of its dependence on coal for most of its electricity generation.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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