Land clearing and degradation are significant sources of the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. In Australia, our native forests, grasslands and wetlands are critical stores for carbon that will be lost if we don't protect and manage them. Many of our unique wildlife species are also under threat and need as much help as they can get when it comes to adapting to climate change.
That's why taking care of our lands and species was at the heart of our negotiation position on the Clean Energy Act. In those negotiations, the Greens secured $946 million over six years for Australia's first Biodiversity Fund, which will reward stewardship of the land. $271 million has already been allocated to for projects that protect, restore and establish natural carbon stores and critical habitat. You can learn more, including how to apply, here.
Because we know our native forests are one of our greatest carbon stores, the Greens also successfully campaigned to stop the burning of native forestry products as "renewable energy". There's nothing renewable about cutting down and burning our native forests - once a biodiverse ecosystem is destroyed and all the carbon in its trees and soil is put into the atmosphere, there's no getting it back in our lifetimes.
Rewarding stewardship of the land and ending the non sequitur of burning native forests ‘renewably'. Those are just two reasons why the Clean Energy Act negotiations are bringing change for the better to this country. For more, see our other updates.