August 22, 2011 / 8:44 AM / 8 years ago

Australia Senate passes forest, farm offsets scheme

CANBERRA, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Australia’s parliament on Monday endorsed the world’s first national scheme that regulates the creation and trade of carbon credits from farming and forestry to complement government plans to put a price on carbon emissions from mid-2012.

The laws, the first major bills passed by the government with Greens support in the upper house Senate since the Greens took the balance of power on July 1, are a precursor to the carbon price laws to be put to parliament later this year.

Known as the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), the new laws allow farmers and investors to generate tradeable carbon offsets from farmland and forestry projects that polluters can buy and use to meet mandatory emissions reductions.

The laws passed with a range of government amendments, and will now return to the lower house to be rubber-stamped.

Reporting by James Grubel; Editing by David Fogarty

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