Australia accused of cooking carbon books

By Gregg Borschmann for Radio National, ABC News, Dec 13, 2009 [here]

By ignoring a massive rise in polluting gases from the agricultural and forestry industries, Australia has managed to make its overall emissions seem much lower than they actually are.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, Australia is allowed to increase carbon emissions by 8 per cent compared to 1990 levels.

But figures supplied to the United Nations earlier this year show that between 1990 and 2007, Australia’s real carbon emissions actually rose by 82 per cent.

The dramatic increase has mainly been caused by rising emissions from Australia’s rural lands, caused by bushfires and drought.

But it is those very same agricultural, grazing and grasslands that both major political parties in Australia hope will help offset the country’s rising industrial emissions.

Australia has led the charge on proposed land use rule changes to the new global climate deal. The changes will open the door to the bonanza of green carbon that can be stored away in the world’s rural lands.

But the move is deeply dividing the Copenhagen conference. Australia - and other big players - have been accused of a trying to pull off a rort [here]. … [more]

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