Soaring demand for trees to offset Australia’s emissions

In Issue60 by FIEA

From 50 trees to 2.8 million. That has been the trajectory for Lisa McCreery’s native tree nursery since it was set up 43 years ago by her parents outside Tammin in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt.

“Mum started off with 40 or 50 trees,” Mrs McCreery said. “That’s how I got my pocket money, just working in the nursery, my sisters and I.” It is a feel-good occupation. “How can you not be happy when you walk down and see so many trees and the oxygen that’s in the system?” Mrs McCreery said.

“You just feel good, you feel really good.” Demand has ebbed and flowed over the years, although farmers and local councils have been the nursery’s mainstay. But lately, another major customer has been adding to the demand.

Carbon capture customers dominate

Companies planting trees to capture carbon and generate carbon offsets have been knocking at the door, bringing big orders for seedlings. This year the nursery will supply close to a million trees to the sector.

“We could have sold out the nursery easily to a couple of carbon companies this year,” Mrs McCreery said. “We didn’t let that happen because we’ve got our bread and butter. My dad always used to say ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’, so I’m going with that.”

With the new Labor government pledging to cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, experts predict demand will soar for carbon offsets to meet the target.

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Source: ABC

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