The Labor Government has today announced the creation of a biodiversity certificates scheme which would see the conversion of Australia’s ecosystems into a new type of tradeable credit that would be traded to ‘compensate’ or ‘offset’ damage to the environment.
“The Government’s announcement of a new ‘biodiversity certificates scheme’ raises concerns of more false solutions to tackle the climate crisis,” said Polly Hemming, senior researcher at the Australia Institute.
“There are straightforward solutions to addressing species loss in Australia like ending native forest logging, regulating land clearing, and paying landholders and communities directly to improve their habitats.
“What is not at all clear, is why anyone would think that creating a so-called ‘biodiversity offset scheme’ where some people can destroy habitat as long as someone else promises to improve habitat is the cheapest or best solution. If Australia can afford to spend $11 billion subsidising fossil fuels, as a nation we can afford to protect our ecosystems and habitats.
“Australia Institute research and independent experts suggests that up to 80 per cent of the carbon credits circulating in Australia are of low integrity. The Government announcement makes no reference to the fact that this scheme and its governance is currently under review and that Professor Ian Chubb is yet to report his findings.
“The decision that this scheme will be overseen by the same regulatory body that is currently being investigated for its failure to regulate Australia’s carbon credits system seems particularly reckless.”