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New era dawns with new climate pact
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New era dawns with new climate pact

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A binding agreement to minimise carbon emissions to below two degrees Celsius ushers in a new era. And with this new climate pact in place, Australia will need to ramp up its efforts to reduce emissions, says Greenfleet’s Chief Executive Officer, Wayne Wescott.

Wescott, who was in Paris to meet with Australian political leaders during the COP21 climate summit, says many untold stories of climate action are already found around Australia.

Greenfleet’s work to plant more than 8.6 million trees to build green infrastructure and restore ecosystems is just one example of practical action on climate change,” he says.

Wescott was encouraged by the outcomes generated from meetings with political leaders.

COP21 presented an opportunity for us to articulate Greenfleet’s unique business model to both Australian and international influences,” he says.

Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, expressed an interest in attending Greenfleet’s first blue carbon planting in 2016,” Wescott says.

In April, Greenfleet teamed up with one of the world’s leading conservation organisations, The Nature Conservancy, and Deakin University, to explore how Australia can support projects that sequester carbon in coastal vegetation. Greenfleet has a funding model that can limit coastal erosion, support local industry and create habitat for marine life while also mitigating climate change.

Discussions with Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, centred around the challenge of connecting national parks in need of finance with carbon reduction organisations, such as Greenfleet, which have access to funds to plant trees. Connecting the two requires a new model that accesses carbon rights on public land.

Mr Shorten, supports carbon rights on public land, although he understands that this is, to a large extent, in the hands of state governments.”

Greenfleet also met with officials from the Department of the Environment, members of the Carbon Markets Institute delegation and the Sustainable Business Australia delegation, as well as global not-for-profit organisations Gold Standard Foundation, Natural Capital Coalition and ICLEI.

The Gold Standard Foundation has invited Greenfleet to trial its revised standard version 3.0 in 2016. In May this year, Greenfleet committed to meet Gold Standard requirements for all new plantings.

Greenfleet has also commenced discussions to partner with ICLEI on an urban greenery program currently underway with the Joondalup and Melbourne councils. This will align the urban greenery program at Upper Stoney Creek, for which Greenfleet has recently won significant federal government funding.

While the international agreement is historic, now the real work begins. Greenfleet will continue to focus on scaling up our efforts to create new ecosystems, build more resilient communities and help Australia adapt to a low-carbon economy,” Mr Wescott concludes.

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