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Legal issues in carbon farming: Biosequestration, carbon pricing, and carbon rights

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This paper critically analyses the proposed Australian regulatory approach to the crediting of biological sequestration activities (biosequestration) under the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative and its interaction with state-based carbon rights, the national carbon-pricing mechanism, and the international Kyoto Protocol and carbon-trading markets. Norms and principles have been established by the Kyoto Protocol to guide the creation of additional, verifiable, and permanent credits from biosequestration activities. This paper examines the proposed arrangements under the Australian Carbon Farming Initiative and Carbon Pricing Mechanism to determine whether they are consistent with those international norms and standards. This paper identifies a number of anomalies associated with the legal treatment of additionality and permanence and issuance of carbon credits within the Australian schemes. In light of this, the paper considers the possible legal implications for the national and international transfer, surrender and use of these offset credits.


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