Land Carbon: No Substitute for Action On Fossil Fuels

29.09.16 By and

Storing carbon in land is no substitute for reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Our new report finds that while increasing carbon in land systems is important, Australia is muddying the waters by combining land carbon and fossil fuel reduction policies – which is giving an inaccurate picture of Australia’s progress in tackling climate change.



1. Carbon dioxide has a significant and indisputable impact on the Earth’s climate.

2. Land systems can make an important contribution to mitigating climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or avoiding emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

3. Moving carbon from the atmosphere back to the land by planting trees or other means is useful but cannot offset fossil fuel emissions.

4. Carbon from fossil fuels has been locked away from the active carbon cycle at the Earth’s surface for millions of years.

5. Developing a ‘firewall’ between Australia’s fossil fuel emissions reduction policies and policies to increase carbon uptake on land would provide transparency around Australia’s emissions reduction efforts.

6. Tackling climate change effectively can only be done by reducing fossil fuel emissions.