“Is carbon trading a shallow exercise in carbon-shifting and guilt abatement?”
Forests – a major player in climate calming.
Protecting forests and reforestation could account for 31% of government greenhouse targets set for 2020 according to a report from global heavyweight business consultants McKinsey and Company.
The McKinsey Report found that Australia could cut emissions to 30% less than 1990 levels by 2020, at a cost of only $5.60 a week per household. This would not cause major upsets to business or the community. McKinsey’s analysis also found that greenhouse cuts of up to 60% are possible by 2030 using forest protection, reafforestation and more efficient use of energy. These three things would spearhead deep cuts in Australia’s greenhouse emissions by 2020.
** Forests capture 11% of emissions. Renewables save only 5%**
Avoiding land clearing and logging, coupled with rapid, widespread tree-planting programs, can provide one of the cheapest ways for Australia to offset its greenhouse emissions. The report’s author, Stephan Gorner, said that compared with most other developed economies, Australia was in a good position to develop large-scale forest sinks as a cheap way to make quick cuts in emissions. He said that without forestry and the big gains available by replacing coal with clean energy, Australia would find it much more difficult to achieve the deep targets proposed.
These solutions don’t need fancy technologies; they are simple and right in front of us now. All that’s needed is for our governments to think independently from the coal, oil and logging industries and then show some strong political will.