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Out Of Mind » MEMBER ADVERTISING & BLOG FORUMS » Alley's Place » UN targets Australia over tree-clearing emissions

UN targets Australia over tree-clearing emissions

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The Australian Government has faced a barrage of questions over its escalating greenhouse gas emissions from tree clearing from the international community even before it faces questions at the United Nations Climate Change meeting in Marrakech.
Australia’s LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) emissions increased from the equivalent of 0.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013 to an estimated 23Mt CO2e in 2015 and 21Mt in 2020, on the back of increased tree clearing led by Queensland.
Queensland’s tree clearing has almost doubled in two years, from 153,000 hectares in 2011-12 to 296,000ha in 2013-14, with emissions increasing from 22 million tonnes CO2e to 36Mt.
Australia’s tree-clearing emissions could escalate further as millions of hectares of land can be cleared without permits.
Australia will only scrape in to reach its 2020 emissions target of a 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on the back of 128Mt of credits mostly from reduced tree clearing before 2012, but reaching our 26-28% emissions reduction target by 2030 will be almost impossible with the states gutting tree-clearing laws.
“The bulldozers are back in a big way, tearing up our bushland, killing our native wildlife and releasing millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” said Wilderness Society National Director Lyndon Schneiders.
“The Federal Government must stop tree clearing if we have any hope of reaching our 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets; it’s as simple as that. Already the international community is quizzing us about the escalation in tree clearing.
“The Australian Government will use every trick in the book to reach our meagre 2020 target of a 5% reduction in greenhouse emissions but we are in serious trouble if we want to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2030 and the international community will not let us get away with such cheap accounting tricks again.
“Land-sector emissions were calculated on 1990 levels when tree clearing was at its peak in Australia, so we got to bank hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon credits for the drop in clearing ‑ credits that five developed countries were happy to resign.
“The states are now gutting those laws that slowed tree clearing and delivered Australia a windfall on greenhouse gas emissions. NSW tabled legislation just this week to follow Queensland’s lead in gutting tree-clearing laws. The Federal Government must act to stop tree clearing to meet our obligations to the international community and give us a chance of a safe climate for our children.”

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