As I raised yesterday, one of the key issues I have with emissions trading schemes is their heavy link to the sequestration capability of the adapting nation.
Sequestration is likely to play a significant role in Australia’s efforts to reduce net national emissions. Our capacity could be greatly increased through the rehabilitation of degraded land and the reduction of tillage in agricultural systems, but as Professor Peter Grace from the Institute for Sustainable Resources points out actually profiting from sequestration in Australia would be exceptionally difficult. Our high temperatures and limited rainfall limits biomass production, reducing the ability of our agricultural systems to accumulate carbon. “Realistically we could never reach the capabilities of the US with their cooler and wetter environments” Grace says.
Carbon trading systems based heavily on sequestration are therefore not a reasonable solution for Australia. We need to focus on other management strategies if we really want to address the issue of global warming.