Climate concerns plant credit seed

04/02/2009 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

CARBON credits have been a major growth area in the forestry sector, as companies move to exploit the market created by the federal government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, due for introduction in mid 2010.

Climate concerns plant credit seed

CARBON credits have been a major growth area in the forestry sector, as companies move to exploit the market created by the federal government's Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, due for introduction in mid 2010.

Western Australian-based companies including CO2 Group, Carbon Conscious, Rewards Group and Wisper Forestry Services, a sister company of sandalwood producer WA Sandalwood, are all engaged in the plantation businesses to trade carbon credits.

Specific legislation that came into effect last June will allow tax deductions for investment in carbon-offset forestry.

Carbon Conscious chief executive Peter Balsarini said the carbon-offset industry would be geared towards large companies compelled by law to justify their emissions.

About 1,000 companies Australia-wide will be liable under the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

"Generally, the companies we'll attract will be big business because they've got a carbon liability. They're not mum and dad investors who are looking for a tax deduction," he said.

Mr Balsarini told WA Business News the emerging industry was a good opportunity for WA farmers to unlock the potential of vast areas of unproductive farmland.

"We operate in the Wheatbelt areas that have a lower rainfall. We're looking for the arid land where there isn't much there, not necessarily prime agricultural but more marginal land," he said.

Carbon credit forestry plantations negotiate access to the land through carbon rights.

The right is applied on top of the title of the property, giving rights to the area where the trees are planted and rights to the carbon from the trees.

Elementree managing director Courtney Hayes said the industry had gone through a radical maturation in recent years as the general public became more aware of climate change.

In 2005, his company, Elementree Inc, was one of only four operations nationwide to offer tax-deductible carbon trading to individuals and community groups.

The company charged $2.50 to plant each tree, with individuals and groups working out their emissions total and offsetting it accordingly.

In response to the increasing competitiveness in the industry, Elementree has launched a business-oriented arm, aimed at attracting the corporate market.

"The industry has gone through a massive transformation since 2006 as the public became more aware of climate change," Mr Hayes said.

"It's been a rapid maturation where there's now the one currency for carbon, and offsets have to be of the highest calibre."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options