Australia: Carbon Forestry Landscape Changing
Carbon forestry investments in New Zealand and Australia have taken a blow from the combined effects of legislative uncertainty and the depressed prices for carbon based on Euro problems, but the sector remains cautiously optimistic.
In Australia Carbon Conscious Chief Executive Officer, Peter Balsarini, confirmed they are on track to achieve results in line with previous guidance to the market. Their current programme, one of the largest carbon forestry projects in Australia, includes 10,000 hectares of mallee eucalypt planting in the Australian Wheatbelt. A leading developer of carbon forestry projects, Carbon Conscious, a major developer of carbon forestry projects, says it has received a substantial increase in new client enquiries from organisations now facing major carbon liabilities under the Clean Energy Act 2011, as well as from New Zealand companies with liabilities under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
Meanwhile, celebrating the purchase of their Kiernan Creek Forest in Marlborough, NZ Carbon Farming managing director Matt Walsh said his company intended growing their investments in New Zealand. They remain positive about gaining more forest to lease for the carbon market and more land to plant.
Some industry commentators say harmony needs to be achieved between the New Zealand and Australian emissions trading schemes and that carbon prices need to lift and stabilise for the sector to see much upside. Others say the prices need to recover before much more action starts happening.
Either way, there is an underlying factor that the New Zealand government really needs the carbon forestry industry to grow in order to continue to provide the crucial carbon offsets to balance emissions in the short to medium term. A government directed emissions trading scheme review panel has identified a need for New Zealand to deal with future carbon liabilities resulting from harvesting. They also need to focus on mitigating the risks of financial mismatching in doing so.
All of the major players in the carbon forestry industry in Australasia are meeting on 22-23 August 2012 at the 2nd Annual Carbon Forestry Conference to be held in Auckland, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Conference organisers at the Forest Industry Engineering Association have brought together a strong cross-section of key industry speakers. The speakers will detail updates to operational markets on the implications of political, economic and market uncertainty to the investment and forestry markets and how at this time companies reduce their exposure to market risk.
The entire forest industry in New Zealand remains buoyant following more than 2 years of exports, planting and cautious investment by new players. Carbon forestry as a component of the overall sector has a number of upbeat players who are optimistic about their own prospects to make wise and profitable investments for their clients.