Program to offset carbon emissions

Monday, 10 March, 2008

Greening Australia and the Tasmanian government entered into an Australian-first partnership today following Premier Lennon’s announcement in state parliament regarding the government’s commitment to reducing and offsetting carbon emissions.

Through Greening Australia’s Breathe Easy program, the Tasmanian government has pledged to offset all of its air travel emissions for the next five years by helping to restore one of Tasmania’s major river systems — the River Derwent.

“Starting today, the whole of the Tasmanian government is now able to offset its air travel emissions by restoring and revegetating large-scale landscapes. This builds resilience into our natural ecosystems and helps our environment, including our plants and animals, to adapt to the challenges we face with climate change,” said Greening Australia’s CEO in Tasmania, Jonathan Duddles.

“The focus of our plantings will be the Derwent catchment which provides fresh drinking water for 300,000 people and is vital to the state’s economy. It is part of our River Recovery program which seeks to link landscapes, rivers and people by improving the health of the river, protecting and enhancing biodiversity and supporting sustainable agriculture.

“We will be able to significantly increase the size and extent of our plantings in the Derwent River region, which would not have been possible under existing funding arrangements.”

The Tasmanian government’s offset scheme will commence operation on 1 July 2008 with the first plantings funded through an offset account established by each agency covering its air travel between 4 March and 30 June.

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