Carbon farming policy fires starting gun for regional WA to benefit from climate action
We welcome a new policy released by the McGowan Government to allow carbon farming projects on state-owned pastoral leases, calling the initiative a win for regional jobs and a cleaner economy for Western Australia.
WA Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture today confirmed that Pastoral leaseholders covering vast areas of the state would be able to generate carbon credits through ‘Human-Induced Revegetation’.
Clean State spokesperson Maggie Wood said the announcement was a step towards a cleaner economy for WA.
“This is just one example of how regional West Australians can benefit directly from action on climate change.
“The announcement opens up the potential for thousands of jobs to be created in regional areas through carbon farming.
“There is great potential for WA’s biggest polluters to reduce emissions directly, however offsetting emissions here in WA through carbon farming and other projects is likely to play an important role in transitioning our economy and unlocking our Clean state potential.
“We welcome this announcement, which will enable WA projects to supply carbon credits to the Australian market and beyond.
“Pastoralists will now be able to access real income for restoring and revegetating pastoral properties through the Commonwealth Government Emissions Reduction Fund and polluters seeking to offset their emissions directly”.
Action to address WA’s biggest polluters can drive growth in carbon industry
WA’s peak environment and conservation body the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) also responded to the announcement.
“At present, the size and value of the carbon farming industry are limited because there are no requirements for WA’s biggest polluters to reduce and offset their carbon emissions,” said CCWA Director Piers Verstegen.
Last month, Clean State released a landmark report into WA’s biggest polluters, showing that emissions from WA LNG production were rising rapidly in breach of Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. A separate independent analysis commissioned by Clean State shows that offsetting pollution from WA’s biggest polluters in the LNG industry would create over 4,000 jobs for regional WA.
“Now that this opportunity for carbon farming has been unlocked, its time for the McGowan Government to require WA’s biggest polluters to take action on climate change. This means introducing new rules to cut emissions and contribute to a WA Clean Jobs Fund that would see the carbon farming industry take off on a much larger scale.
“Action on climate change means thousands of new jobs and huge opportunities for Western Australians and this carbon farming announcement brings that potential a big step closer,” said Mr Verstegen.