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Statement from GreenCollar CEO, James Schultz, addressing discussions about the Australian Carbon Market

The real story of the carbon farming initiative, emissions reduction fund and Australian carbon market is a story of people of high integrity coming together to build something extraordinary – something of which we can be proud. It is also a story that has enjoyed strong cross party support since its inception in 2010 – and continues to do so.

For just over a decade GreenCollar has been proud to be a part of – and at times lead – the move to build a new economy where we put the true value on the environmental services so vital to our collective futures. It is an economy where the value of our rural landscape is understood in terms of its ability to provide food, fibre and ore as well as its pivotal role in combating climate change, preserving biodiversity, and providing clean air and water.

GreenCollar has had the privilege over this time to work with a community of thousands of champions with great minds and great integrity.

They are: the farmers and landholders who took a risk as early movers into carbon farming; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples undertaking world first projects; the public servants that have overseen the creation of world first policy and law; the many scientists and academics that are world leading experts in carbon and environmental accounting; the many individuals within the private land conservation and not-for-profit sector that have given their careers to fighting to save the extraordinary landscape that we all call home; and the many people working within companies like our own to change the way we put environment on the balance sheet.

This community is diverse and multi-disciplinary. They come from many different philosophical backgrounds, but are united by a recognition that – if we are going to actually solve the challenges in front of us, if we are going to meet the threat from climate change head on – we are going to need to do things differently. They have recognised that the scale of investment that is needed can only come from the private sector. The public purse is simply not large enough.

We now have a market where there is an option for farming families to make a choice to earn meaningful income from the way they manage the trees and soil on their land. This is a truly remarkable thing which we have all invested decades in creating.

GreenCollar has been and remains the loudest advocate and supporter of the need for integrity and transparency in the Australian carbon market. This is an idea that is simply in the DNA of our business. It is part of who we are as an independent, science-led, data-driven organisation. We would not be able to operate without it.

We don’t simply welcome scrutiny of methods and governance. We demand it.

We have been the first to draw attention to the need for change and advancement of methods.

We have developed, and we operate hundreds of projects. These projects have been through close to a thousand independent third party audits over the last 10 years as part of the process of creating ACCUs.

We have worked openly, publicly and constructively through the numerous reviews of the human induced regeneration, avoided deforestation and avoided clearing methods.

We have freely shared the data we collect in the operation of our projects with the CSIRO, universities, government and many others – for the improvement and enhancement of the models and science that underpin the scheme.

The scheme will continue to evolve, mature and improve – as it must. This in no way diminishes the many benefits it is already delivering.

The essence of the above is that the Australian Carbon Market is already, today, a market we can have confidence in.

 

Media enquiries: Brinsley Marlay 0412 084 015 or [email protected]

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