The Australian Greens today expressed concerns about the Carbon Farming Initiative legislation introduced into the House of Representatives today and foreshadowed seeking support to refer the bill to a Senate Inquiry.
The concerns relate to both the potential of the bill to repeat the distortions in the land and water market caused by managed investment schemes and the potential to undermine the effectiveness and efficiency of the pollution price.
"It would be very short-sighted to deal with the climate crisis in a way which increases stresses on water and food supply in this country," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said
"We will need to work through how this scheme will operate before we go much further.
"Carbon farming should be able to reward the great extra benefits that would come from focussing on increasing biodiversity as well as carbon in the landscape.
"By the same token, carbon farming needs to be designed in such a way that it doesn't repeat the mistakes of the managed investment scheme debacle, increasing competition for land and water and driving farmers off the land.
"I am also not satisfied that the government understands the huge amount of offsets to the pollution pricing scheme that the carbon farming initiative could create.
"Flooding the market with offsets could undermine the purpose of the pollution price - to build a cleaner, healthier, jobs-rich economy by driving investment into clean energy."