07/14/2010 - Australia's outback is a massive carbon bank ready for deposits and its fees would be cheaper than other methods of reducing carbon emissions, says a report to be released today.
Research carried out for the Pew Environment Group and The Nature Conservancy investigated five carbon-cutting methods for the outback, which covers three-quarters of Australia. These included reduced land clearance, control of feral animal populations and better fire management.
Most of the changes could be implemented using existing knowledge, said a Pew Environment Group representative, Patrick O'Leary, and could reduce Australia's annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 40 million tonnes, or about 7 per cent of present levels, by 2030.
In most cases the changes would cost less than the estimated carbon price under the government's shelved emissions trading scheme, the report said.
It also said the figures were approximate, but highlighted the magnitude of reductions that could be achieved.
''This report shows that the outback is an integral part of reducing Australia's carbon emissions but it doesn't replace the need for Australia to reduce industrial carbon pollution and the urgent need for a price on carbon,'' Mr O'Leary said.
Read the full article, Out Back, Opportunities Beckon to Reduce Effect of Carbon on the Sydney Morning Herald's Web site.