The Australian outback has become a hotbed of carbon farming—raising and maintain trees that supposedly absorb carbon. The goal is to create “carbon credits” for companies that can’t reduce their carbon dioxide emissions.
But the Australian government is buying most of them.
Write Michael E. Miller and Frances Vinall in the Washington Post:
“Here in the ‘mulga belt,’ which stretches into northern New South Wales, is the unassuming epicenter of Australia’s roaring carbon-farming industry. In this area alone, roughly 150 properties have collectively made at least $300 million from carbon credits in less than a decade, according to government records.”
Mulgas are small trees, shrubs even, that from a “dense, scrubby growth,” says Oxford Languages (Google’s dictionary).
“When Australia created its carbon market, the Emissions Reduction Fund, in 2014, it enabled companies to voluntarily buy ACCUs to shrink their carbon footprints. It also required the country’s 215 largest polluters — mainly coal, oil and gas companies — to offset pollution beyond certain limits. But the limits were set so high they had little to no effect, according to Andrew Macintosh, an expert who helped design Australia’s carbon market but has emerged as its leading critic.
“Instead, almost all of the credits have been purchased by the Australian government with the aim of aiding efforts to meet its international climate pledges. That meant the same agency was not only accrediting carbon projects but was also their primary customer — a conflict of interest, critics argue.”