Landowners encouraged into a Government scheme that awards carbon credits for keeping land permanently in trees could be forced off their farms.
Forestry sources say forced sales of thousands of hectares in the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative are on the cards if the carbon price does not recover soon.
Under the initiative, a covenant preventing the clearing of trees for a minimum of 50 years is placed on land in exchange for annual payments of carbon credits from the Government to the landowner.
One farmer spoken to by Radio New Zealand says he signed over half his farm to the scheme two years ago, when the price of carbon was $23 a tonne, which meant the Government gave him carbon credits he could sell for $200,000.
Now, with the carbon price under $3 dollars a tonne, his credits for this year are worth just $30,000.
The farmer, who spoke under condition of anonymity, is locked into the scheme for 50 years and with no way of making up for that big drop in income, and a mortgage to pay, says he has little choice but to sell his farm.
Yep. I sincerely hope that people such as the above aren't hoping for compensation or special consideration from the taxpayer in order to protect themselves from their failed investment into hot air.
Related link: Carbon price fall could force some farmers off land ~ Radio New Zealand