Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Carbon trade tipped to boost economy, environment

Carbon trade tipped to boost economy and environmental benefits

Environment Waikato is looking at promoting forestry and carbon farming opportunities that will help grow a new green economy while delivering positive flow-on effects for the environment.

The policy committee today called for further investigations to help the council decide whether to develop a strategy to steer participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) with an eye to supporting landowners, boosting the regional economy and achieving spin-off benefits for soil conservation, biodiversity and water quality.

Under the ETS, industries are required to buy carbon credits to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon credits can also be traded for cash.

In a report to the committee, biosecurity and natural heritage group manager John Simmons said tree planting offered multiple benefits In addition to generating carbon income and helping New Zealand meet its international commitments to reducing greenhouse gases, trees also helped to protect water quality by reducing soil erosion and absorbing excess nutrients that might otherwise have leached into waterways.

Mr Simmons said the council could encourage landowners into the relatively new carbon trading market by providing greater certainty, while reducing risk and complexity.

“The first part of the proposal would be to provide a financial incentive to landowners to bring about land use changes on poor quality land,” he said Approximately 11 per cent of Waikato’s land area, or 144,000 hectares, is erosion-prone and has been identified as being suitable for establishment of forestry for multiple benefits.

The council could facilitate a consortium of investors to enter into joint ventures with landowners to develop 20,000 hectares of marginal pastoral hill country into plantation forest, with a further 15,000 hectares returned to native bush and trees. Preliminary estimates show the total investment would amount to approximately $36 million for forestry and $3 million for native tree restoration over 10 years.

“It is expected the carbon credit revenue over the initial 10-year period would amount to almost $10 million,” Mr Simmons said.

“This means farmers can retire their steepest, erosion-prone land, get an income from it and focus their efforts on their best land better suited to sheep and beef.

“Other areas of steep and inaccessible land could be left to revert permanently to native bush while still providing an annual income from the carbon credits over long time frames.”

A second objective would be to provide a means by which carbon credits could be aggregated into a regional pool to provide a buffer against price and harvest variations.

“This would allow landowners with relatively small pockets of land to pool their credits to create marketable parcels,” Mr Simmons said.

The pool would also allow Waikato industries, such as electricity generators, the dairy industry and the transport sector, to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by buying regional carbon credits.

While the committee expressed some reservations about aspects of the proposal, it agreed to progress the concept to the next step and asked staff to prepare a business case, costings and investment options.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Legal Issues: Gordon Campbell On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

Yesterday’s interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public.

Apoparently, the fuel industry is an oligopoly where the Big Three (BP, Mobil and Z) that import 90% of this country’s fuel also control the supply, pricing, profit margins etc etc, from wharf to petrol pump, thereby all but throttling genuine competition at every stage along the way. More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

PM's Post-Cab: Bad Mail

Cabinet was updated on the process around prisoners sending mail, following the accused Christchurch gunman sending letters that "should have been stopped". All mail of "high concern prisoners" will now be checked by a specialist team and a changes to the legal criteria for witholding mail are expecting to go to a cabinet committee in this parliamentary session. More>>

Welfare: Ongoing Drug-Test Sanctions Contradicts Govt’s Rhetoric

Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. More>>





InfoPages News Channels