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WA Forest Products Act allows FPC to trade in carbon assets

WA Forestry Minister Dave Kelly

Amendments to Western Australia’s Forest Products Act 2000 that will allow the Forest Products Commission (FPC) to trade in carbon assets has passed through State Parliament. Source: Timberbiz

Until now, the FPC’s functions were restricted to dealing with forest products, which are defined to mean trees, parts of trees and similar products. The statutory expansion of the FPC’s functions under the new legislation, will now grant the FPC the right to own, trade and otherwise deal with carbon assets.

Carbon capture or sequestration in trees such as renewable pine plantations, is one of the most effective ways to remove carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change, from the atmosphere.

The WA State Government has announced a record $350 million investment to plant new pine plantations over the next ten years.

The investment will secure thousands of existing jobs, create new jobs and ensure the long-term supply of pine, a critical material for our building and construction sectors.

Under the plan, up to 50 million pine trees will be planted, sequestering between 7.9 and 9.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The new legislation will now allow the FPC to obtain and then trade Australian Carbon Credit Units, which will generate a greater financial return to the Western Australian community.

“The Government’s record $350 million expansion of WA’s softwood estate, will create and secure local jobs, and ensure a strong, sustainable timber industry for the future,” Forestry Minister Dave Kelly said.

“Under our plan, at least 33,000 hectares of new pine plantations will be planted, sequestering between 7.9 and 9.5 millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

“The new legislation will now enable the Forest Products Commission to trade carbon credits and generate revenue from the carbon sequestered in the 50 million pines that will be planted,” he said.