SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia is considering awarding carbon credits for killing feral camels as a way to tackle climate change.
The suggestion is included in Canberra’s “Carbon Farming Initiative”, a consultation paper by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, seen Thursday.
Adelaide-based Northwest Carbon, a commercial company, proposed culling some 1.2 million wild camels that roam the Outback, the legacy of herds introduced to help early settlers in the 19th century.
Considered a pest due to the damage they do to vegetation, a camel produces, on average, a methane equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide a year, making them collectively one of Australia’s major emitters of greenhouse gases.
In its plan, Northwest said it would shoot them from helicopters or muster them and send them to an abattoir for either human or pet consumption.
“We’re a nation of innovators and we find innovative solutions to our challenges — this is just a classic example,” Northwest Carbon managing director Tim Moore told Australian Associated Press.
The idea was among those accepted for discussion by the government, which is seeking to “provide new economic opportunities for farmers, forest growers and landholders” if they come up with ways to cut emissions, according to the document.
Heavily reliant on coal-fired power and mining exports, Australia is one of the world’s worst per capita polluters and the government is looking at ways to clean up its act.
Legislation for the “Carbon Farming Initiative” is set to go before parliament next week.
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