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WA moves to amend Forest Products Act to allow for carbon trading

Western Australia’s Forest Products Commission will be allowed to trade in carbon assets if a Bill to amend the Forest Products Act 2000 is passed. Source: Timberbiz

Under the existing Forest Products Act, the FPC’s functions are 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 would 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.

In the recent State Budget, the State Government 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 State Government also recently announced closure of the native forestry sector by 2024.

The amendments to the Forest Products Act will allow the FPC to obtain and then trade Australian Carbon Credit Units.

“The McGowan 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 amendments to the Forest Products Act will allow the Forest Products Commission to trade carbon credits and generate revenue from the carbon sequestered in the pines that will be planted,” he said.