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Standard Bank Readies $230M Aussie Carbon Forest Fund

plantingsSouth Africa’s Standard Bank is in position to launch a A$250 million ($230 million) forestry fund in Australia that will sell carbon offsets to companies that will need to meet emissions reduction targets under the nation’s pending carbon trading laws, reports Reuters.

The fund, believed to be the largest of its kind, is still in the planning stages but is expected to be formally launched in the next few weeks, reports Reuters. The fund will cover the planting and management of 50,000 ha (125,000 acres) that will be managed by the agribusiness investment firm Rewards Group Ltd., according to the news agency.

Australia’s carbon-trading scheme, if passed, would require about 1,000 of the nation’s most polluting firms to meet tougher emissions targets, reports Reuters. The emissions from those firms, called compliance buyers, cover about 75 percent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the agency.

The government expects a final vote on the emissions bills in the Senate, which rejected the laws earlier this year, in the last week of November, reports Reuters.

If the legislation is passed, forestry would be the first sector to operate under the scheme from July 2010. This will be followed by a fixed A$10 ($9.27) per ton carbon price for a year from July 2011 for other sectors except agriculture, reports Reuters.

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