Surprise at lack of interest in carbon credit trading

Associate Professor Euan Mason of Canterbury University is surprised more hill country farmers are not showing an interest in carbon credit trading as they stand to boost their incomes while at the same time helping the environment.

Professor Mason said he is perplexed that some farmers have a negative attitude towards carbon trading and the climate change issue.

He said hill country farmers with land that is eroding and, because of that, is relatively unproductive, have the potential to create wealth by sequestering carbon through forestry as part of the response to climate change.

Professor Mason said they could provide land or go into joint ventures, making forestry for carbon sequestration part of their farming operations.

He said recent moves by the New Zealand Government, including allowing foreign carbon credits from former Soviet states, have collapsed the price of domestic credits in New Zealand to a point where the Emissions Trading Scheme is now more or less dead.

But, he said, if the political will returns in the future and New Zealand runs a genuine carbon trading scheme, then hill country farmers could cash in and benefit New Zealand and the world by lowering emissions.

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