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Greenfleet teams with Victorian Government in Australian first on carbon

Greenfleet teams with Victorian Government in Australian first on carbon

Media release

Greenfleet and the Victorian Government have joined forces to enable the reforestation of public land for carbon storage and improved biodiversity.

The Andrews Labor Government has provided Greenfleet, Australasia’s leading not-for-profit carbon offset organisation, with the carbon rights on two parcels of Crown land in outer Melbourne where Greenfleet planted trees to store carbon and restore habitat.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, is visiting one site at Lysterfield Park in Narre Warren with Greenfleet today to see how the project will improve the area’s biodiversity and encourage native species to thrive. A variety of trees was planted to restore native habitat, including manna gums - the main food source for koalas native to the area.

The other site under the pilot program is the Police Paddocks Reserve in Dandenong. Both areas are managed by Parks Victoria within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Through the 2010 Climate Change Act, this pilot program allows for the carbon rights from privately funded plantings to be distributed to third parties such as Greenfleet.

“This is a significant step forward for climate action. It’s certainly a first for Australia and possibly the world,” Greenfleet CEO Wayne Wescott said.

“In being granted these carbon rights, we are achieving a long-anticipated goal of using private-sector support for the public good.”

“A carbon agreement must do two things: protect the trees we plant and assign the carbon associated with those trees to a specific organisation, such as Greenfleet. The agreement lasts for 100 years, which ensures the trees are protected and enough carbon can be collected to offset the emissions generated by the supporters funding the planting,” Mr Wescott said.

He said the Lysterfield-Police Paddocks reforestation project not only provided a practical way in which companies and individuals could take action on climate change, but also delivered environmental benefits such as habitat for native wildlife and the conservation of biodiversity.

“The Victorian Government has committed to legislating a long-term target for Victoria of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. This was a key recommendation of the Independent Review of the Climate Change Act 2010 and is a significant step towards restoring Victoria's status as a leader in tackling climate change,” said Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio.

“This opens the potential for Greenfleet to scale up support for ecosystem restoration across public lands in Victoria,” Mr Wescott said.

“As public-sector budgets are increasingly challenged, this model can provide critical funding for public-land restoration.”

“There are currently billions of dollars available in carbon markets. These funds can now potentially be accessed to revegetate large tracts of land and even help establish new national parks.”

It is estimated the new forest will store about 9,820 tonnes of carbon over the next century – the equivalent of removing 2,284 average medium-sized cars from the roads for one year.

Mr Wescott said he expected other countries would follow this Australian example.

The Lysterfield Park and Police Paddocks Reserve plantings are revegetating 21 hectares with 20,000 young seedlings, including eucalypts, wattles, tea trees, sheoaks and paperbarks, to restore pre-clearing native bushland. This activity is funded fully by Greenfleet’s supporter base.

Greenfleet will have access to the Dandenong and Narre Warren sites until July 2019 to complete the plantings.

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