New Study: Land Management Is More Effective Than Renewables At Reducing Emissions

Australian Study: Ending Land Clearing Is More Effective At Reducing Emissions Than Green Energy

A new study done by RepuTex, an Australian energy markets analyst, found that Australia could more efficiently abate carbon emissions by ceasing land clearing than by switching to renewable energy.

Specifically, the study shows that by ceasing all virgin land clearing by 2030, and instead using existing arable lands more efficiently, Australia could mitigate roughly 300 to 650 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Queensland alone, for example, clears roughly 300,000 hectares a year.

Why?

To make way for new suburban developments, and clear land for agriculture and ranching.

burning land to make room for ranches in Australia increases carbon emissions dramatically
Controlled burning to make room for ranches makes up a significant portion of Australia’s total carbon emissions.

Ending land clearing would save as much carbon emissions as Australia produces in an entire year (500 million tons).

Coincidentally, it’s also equivalent to how much carbon would be displaced if Australia were to switch entirely to renewable energy sources—like solar and wind power.

The study also found that by replanting cleared forests and scrub land, at a cost of 5 billion Australian dollars, Australia could displace another 200 million tons of emissions in the same period.

Now $5 billion may sound like a lot, but it pales in comparison to the massive investments of tens of billions that Australia’s making in renewable energy—and for what?

Planting some trees and using land more efficiently are just as effective at reducing carbon emissions as are green energy schemes, and they’re dirt cheap.

In fact, stopping ranchers from burning scrub would cost Australian taxpayers next to nothing, but the perceived environmental payoff would be as large as tens of billions worth of investments in renewable energy.

Even if you don’t think that carbon emissions are a pressing environmental issue (like this publication), you can probably agree that the environment has an inherent value, and is worth protecting for aesthetic reasons.

Using land more efficiently is preferable to clearing new land.

This is something America should consider: rather than wasting billions on failed green energy schemes, on instituting carbon taxes that actually end up increasing global emissions, we should instead focus on common sense environmental protections that we can all agree on.

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