carbon credits ?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 15:42
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can some one tell me what carbon credits are and how do they work? cheers
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 15:47

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 15:47
The way I see it-
If your vehicle spews out 'X' tonnes of carbon....
Then go plant some tress that will balance that out..(carbon credits)
So running your vehicle is Carbon neutral..

Overall- I think it's a commercial crock - that someone is making a lot of money with it.

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Follow Up By: zacc - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 15:59

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 15:59
how is money made from it . are they going to penalize us or some thing to that affect for what we produce ? ( how are they going to know how many times i break wind in a day , boy i would have to plant a lot of trees to become nuetral)
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:02

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:02
zac...you sound like SWMBO...a gas bag
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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:21

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:21
Zacc,

The current proposal is for the govt to auction off entitlements to emit carbon (in the form of CO2). This to be in conjunction with an upper limit (cap) on emissions - which will tend to force the auction prices up. So major CO2 producers like electricity generators that burn coal will have to pay for their emissions - and that will be passed on to consumers....
There is a lot happening in this area. Wait for the final Garnaut report (due Sept I think) and then watch govt's response.
Emissions trading should in theory mean that electricity produced by wind, solar and other "green" sources should become cheaper over time. Anything relying on coal and oil should become more expensive. Unclear how agriculture and tree planting might be treated. Any soil disturbance - ploughing, clearing etc actually puts a fair bit of CO2 back into the atmosphere. So not sure where that leaves biodiesel - apart from its impact on food supplies.

HTH,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: Member No 1- Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:00

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:00
"wind, solar and other "green" sources should become cheaper over time"...if you can get due to no solar (night) wind (when its blowing) waves etc etc etc
wont this type of energy force prices up cos it take a lot of capital investment..... carbon tax is just not for energy producers...its for anyone who consumes energy that puts CO2 back into the atmosphere..including the public...we'll get caught by pay more for fuel...petrol gas electricty etc etc
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Reply By: Member - Kevin J (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:43

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 16:43
Much made in the local press recently about a young bride who wanted her wedding to be 'carbon neutral' so she went online and found that she could calculate just how much her wedding cars etc would create and for a fee of $800 she could 'buy' credits to offset.

Turns out that the company doing the deal is looking to spend the money - note future tense - for planting trees in the paper forests of Canada.

Good lurk if you can get it.

Kevin J
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:39

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:39
There are a number of such schemes currently operating but there is no regulatory framework around them, so who knows whether the trees are actually planted, whether they live or die, or how much CO2 they actually take up etc etc. Could be OK, could be very shonky - there has been some media discussion about these concerns. Perhaps the best thing about these early schemes is that they are experimental and test out some aspects of haw a trading scheme might work.
I would be cautious about investing in such schemes until the national scheme is implemented, and hopefully that will be linked with international trading.

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:30

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:30
So all Forestry products (timber, wood pulp) should get much cheaper because right now, no-one will pay them to plant a tree.
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:18

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:18
I Can sort off come to terms with paying a little more for the polution I cause and so long as I also get some credit for the enormous trees I have on my property I would think it fair. Got no idea how they would ever implement the credit part in a way that would be fair for all those without the resources to buy credits and have them on a piece of paper so to speak

My main bitch with this is that it all all sounds legitimate but what are those idiots going to do with alll that extra cash? I doubt it will be ploughed back into making whatever alternatives cheaper - otherwise we would be having perfect roads paid for by fines etc. The pollies are incapable of making a good decision with buckets of money unless thos finer details have been worked out.

I have visions of Pete Garrett harpoon japanese whalers funded by a truck load of carbon dollars - after all it is a worthy cause.

Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:54

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:54
Good point.

Land line on the ABC a few months ago was looking at some preliminary work being done in Oz on carbon credits.

i.e. farmers growing trees for windbreaks etc should be able to sell carbon credits.

One investigation was even looking at the carbon credits that could be applied to growing grass.

So hopefully some farmers might be able to get a 2nd income from carbon credits.

My feeling is that it will be the middle men, the onsellers who will make the money as it is now, and the farmers will get little of what they deserve.
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Reply By: Member -Dodger - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:20

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:20
C.O.S.
Designed to rip the little man OFF
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: robak (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:22

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:22
I am no expert but from what I know this came about from the concept that the full cost of things, like electricty, is not being passed on the users. The cost of pullution is often not iincluded in the final cost.

Like anyother polution we have to get rid of it. One way of getting rid of carbon dioxide is for plants to convert it to oxygen.

Take the amazon forest for example. While produces about 30% of the worlds oxygen (from CO2), in itself it has no dollar value and huge amounts of the forest are being cleared to create poor quality farming land.

While we in the west depend on the amazon for O2, we can't stop the clearing, although we do produce huge amounts of CO2.

The carbon trading scheme is a way to give value to these CO2 converters (trees) making them a valuable comodity and hence hopefully reduce the tree clearing.

Anyone creating CO2 can buy the credits from people who have plants that convert CO2 back to O2.


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Follow Up By: zacc - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:31

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:31
i might haveto look at byuing up a sh@t load of land ( which in turn will be come a tax deduction) then start to sell trees to the people who want to offset there co2 . it would have to be a win win . hang on, thats already been done they call them farms , bugger.
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Reply By: Member - Geoff C (QLD) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:33

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:33
I have 280acres of bush, mostly ironbark. As I understand it I will receive no credits for that but if I were to clear it and plant new trees I would make a fortune selling the carbon credits for the new trees. Don't really see the sense in it. What I need is a big bushfire to burn it all down and then I'll be rich on the regrowth. Maybe I should log it as I believe hardwood is worth a lot.
Silly season.
Geoff
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:52

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:52
Foresters reckon that trees take up most carbon when they are actively growing. Mature trees are carbon stores, but are only adding new carbon quite slowly. Seems reasonable though that there should be some compensation to keep carbon locked up in live trees. Once they are harvested the carbon is released over time (only a proprtion of the tree makes it into building materials and furniture where it does not break down quickly). Carbon is also released from the disturbed soil. I think details like these will take a while to finally sort out - they have been argued about for the last 20+ years that I have been involved in the revegetation area and still no resolution.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: mfewster - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:58

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 17:58
Mature trees don't soak up carbon dioxide at anything like the same rate as younger growing trees. But you are right. Destroying established trees releases huge amounts of stored energy so it is counter productive to cut down forests to grow new trees.(from a CO2 point of view). Clearing forest without replanting trees is a problem. I agree that the whole issue of carbon trading, while it looks good in theory, is likely to be very shonky. It looks more like a way for existing high CO2 producers to con everyone that they are really doing something about it so we all feel warm and fuzzy. Regulation of the bona fides of carbon trading looks to be a nightmare.
Cutting emissions full stop looks a better strategy.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:39

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 18:39
In the future every time a cow belches or farts it is giving off gases that will need to be offset by some sort of tax or plantings.

In NZ the govt tried to bring in a fart tax a couple of years ago based on the number of cows a farmer owned but the diary farmers caused such a stir that it was dropped.
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Follow Up By: Member - Warfer (VIC) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:54

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:54
*In NZ the govt tried to bring in a fart tax*


Then they realized there were more gases coming from THE BEE HIVE than all the farms in N.Z put together !


Cheers
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Reply By: Mark Taylor - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 19:01

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 19:01
I realy don't know how it all works... but; I joined a carbon credit scheme.. cost me $100 per year. They sent me a nice colourful sticker for the back of the Disco.. and the greenies on their bikes and in their Priuus cars see it and give me the thumbs up.

Sounds good to me.

Cheers

Mark T
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Reply By: John R (SA) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 19:15

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 19:15
As I farmer in an area where there are a lot of commercial tree plantations, I'd expect to have heard if people were getting about offering money for me to plant trees to act as a carbon soak. I've been keeping my ear to the ground, but nada.

Quite frankly, anyone who buys a carbon offset (ie the lass who wanted a carbon neutral wedding) needs to ask for some pretty concrete evidence of how that offset is being achieved.

I know a reasonable number of farmers across a fair whack of Oz. None of them have heard of anyone wanting to use trees/land/anything in a carbon offset scheme.

I reckon the government is getting themselves into a hell of a minefield; to what extent to you police & tax people? Just the big emitors, or right down to each individual?

If the latter, it will then become an argument as everyone has a varying sized 'carbon footprint', and even greater variance in opinion. Most importantly though, no one really knows how to accurately calculate it.
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Reply By: mythicl - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:25

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 21:25
I was talking to a fellow who just brought 200 acres down south of Adelaide to retire on and he had been looking into the Carbon Credit scheme. From what he said (bear i mind this is all second hand) he would get paid by a company to plant and maintain X number of tress on his property. He has been looking at planting 100 acres out so he would get (I assume) a set amount per acre per year.

The company that pays him then 'onsells' the carbon credits each year to a company or individual. However there's a couple of catches. First of all this fellow would be contractually locked in to leaving those planted acres alone which means he has no control over the land for the next 10 to 15 years so he can't just change his mind and do something different with it. The second problem - a bigger one I think - is that this is a cop out for many large organisations as they can just buy the credits and feel all nice and environmental but they are doing nothig fundamentally different in the way they do business. In other words they can continue to polute as much as they want and still feel good and get kudos from the shareholders.

Now - I don't know where he got all his info but I know this fellow is pretty pedantic when it comes to researchign such things and in the end he decided to plant some trees for wild life and leave it at that. He can keep control over his farm and still do something for the environment.

Cheers
Ross
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:08

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:08
The numerous different "carbon credit schemes" that are currently operating (eg Greenfleet) are really just toe in the water stuff. For one thing there is no agreed price for a given quantity of carbon, so at present its what the (small) market will bear. In any case tree planting schemes will be only one part of a carbon credit scheme - there will be a lot of regulation, limitation and probably taxation required to make it all work. That is IF the current govt actually puts a trading scheme in place. The current talk is that a full scheme will be in place 2010 or 2011. It will be interesting to see how those tree growers who have contracts under current schemes will be catered for.
My guess that the main emphasis will be on high charges to big emitters to try to drive down emissions. Hopefully some of the money that the govt will gain from that will flow on to carbon capture schemes such as revegetation.

Val.

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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:40

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 22:40
Simple!! Its all crap!!!
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Reply By: KSV. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:01

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 09:01
Theory sounds too good to be true and indeed it *WILL* turn as we have to pay more. Period. Cars responsible to mere 8% of carbon pollution, yet you see 4WD will be targeted first and most likely as some stupid extra levy on registration. Coal burning electricity plants contribute about 70% of carbon and if they will be buying “carbon credits” it only mean that we will pay more for electricity! And for everything else what required electricity for production (read *EVERYTHING*). Nuclear electricity does not pollute at all (except nuclear pollution if treated improperly, but this is the same for everything else). So say I am really “carbon concern” and like to use exclusively nuclear electricity even if it 50% more expensive. Problem here is very simple – I HAVE NO CHOICE. But pay more to buy some useless “carbon credits” instead of stopping burn coal. So be it.
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:01

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:01
KSV
I think that's where carbon credits came from. At the moment "green" energy is not really viable becuase coal fired power stations don't have to pay for the polution they release. Once they do, solar and wind energy becomes much more attractive. Unfotunately it will cost more.

But then we are happy to pay for the removal of pollution from our houses (garbage, sewerage etc), rather then dumping it in our back yard for free.

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Follow Up By: KSV. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:32

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:32
Sorry, robak, I hit wrong button - read my reply future on
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Reply By: KSV. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:29

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:29
What you explain is theory – no more then that. Paying extra for pollution *WILL NOT* encourage alternative energy sources. Electricity will simply cost more for electricity producers and they happily pass this cost to customers still pocketing the same (or even bigger) profit. Besides wind and solar power inadequate to full fit electricity demands. At this stage of society developing only nuclear power is real alternative to coal burning and if our government really cares about our environment they should push nuclear power instead of simply suck more money from taxpayers because of mythical “carbon offset”. Best example was given somewhere in this thread when stupid bride make her wedding “carbon neutral” by paying some money to someone. Does not look to me any better then buying an indulgence certificate from corrupted monk!!!

As for your example about rubbish removal. It does not matter how much tidiness I will exercise - if no-one of my neighbors doing similar my street still will be full of rubbish. One cannot erect beautiful palace in the middle of rubbish tip. Thus if we are serious about global (you see – it *IS* global!) carbon pollution first and foremost we have to stop buying china-made products – remember their government says that they do not care about pollution because their industrial growth is in precedence? Now multiply this on their not-so-sophisticated technologies and figure out. Battling here about “carbon offset” while still importing enormous amount cheap Chinese stuff is no better then just throw my rubbish over the fence in hope that my street became more clean! Again as for me it is looks like buying an indulgence certificate from corrupted monk and sleep well because did “right things”.
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Follow Up By: robak (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:46

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 11:46
That's right. Carbon trading will not make an impact on the environment until all of the big polluters become part of the scheme, inlcuding the new booming economies of india and china.

Although I disagree that paying for pollution will not generate alternative energy sources. At the moment it can take ten years to payback for the investement into residential solar panels. If coal fired eletricity was more expensive the payback time for solar panels could be reduced to 3-5 years.
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Follow Up By: KSV. - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 12:05

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 12:05
Not necessarily at all. Solar cells need to be produced and guess what? Yep you right – electricity need to be used! Same applicable to battery – not environmental friendly devices at all. Your theory is based on fact that electricity became more expensive while solar cells and batteries not. I can assure you this is not the case – electricity is fundamental stone of any economics and when it became dearer everything else will be more expensive virtually in direct proportion.
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