# 17
to assessing Tasmania’s carbon stocks

We all know Tasmania's ancient forests are full of stored carbon, but how much? Well, as it turns out, somewhere between 3,000 and 4,400 million tons worth.

How do we know this? Because, thanks the the Tasmanian Greens working cooperatively in government, Tasmania undertook one of Australia's most comprehensive assessments of a stored carbon stock.

Under a Green Climate Change minister, Tasmania took the first steps down the long road to having the global importance of Tasmania's carbon store recognised.

While we were working out how much carbon Tasmania was holding on to, we thought we'd better find out where it was too, and the results weren't all that surprising. 97% of Tasmania's stored carbon is held in our native forests; so, as well as being beautiful, bio-diverse and highly economically valuable, but they're also a globally significant carbon sink.

Now that we know not just the size, but also the location, of Tasmania's stored carbon, it's up to us as a state to decide what to do with it.

Not only do our carbon stores place on us a great responsibility to help protect the earth's atmosphere, but they also present a great opportunity for Tasmania to monetise this resource in the future. While carbon markets are still highly volatile and there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding inclusions and exclusions, Tasmania now has the data and the research to be at the forefront of the debate surrounding carbon pricing and conservation.

Greens in government, giving Tasmania the tools that it needs to succeed.

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Fact check

Bulinski, James, Adrian Goodwin, Barrie May, and Stuart Macleod. Tasmanian Forest Carbon Study Full Report: CO2 Australia Limited, 2012. Available at: http://www.dpac.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/172789/ForestCarbonStudy_Report.pdf

(Or, how else we are putting a dent in the universe?)