Forestry and the carbon market
In the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, Professor of Economics, Ross Garnaut, outlined the important role of carbon trading in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing an incentive to create carbon sinks. The role of trees as a carbon sink was promoted as a prime example, generating carbon credits that can be purchased by organisations seeking to reduce their emissions profile. Follow the link for more information on the Garnaut Review.
The carbon market in Victoria
There is currently no legislated carbon market based in Australia that Victorian forest growers can sell their carbon into. The federal government is developing an emissions reduction scheme, which may include market incentives for forest growers to create and sell carbon credits.
However, forest growers have already been selling their forest's carbon to organisations that are seeking to trade carbon or reduce their emissions profile voluntarily. The lack of legislation around carbon trading allows these traders or purchasers to establish develop their own rules and requirements around carbon trading, making it crucial to investigate each buyer and the conditions involved in any trade.
Several standards have been developed to provide a level of product assurance for consumers. These standards can include requirements for forest managers to maintain their forests in accordance with particular management guidelines. You can see the various government and industry standards here.