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13 July 2023

Farmers welcome first National Statement on Climate Change and Agriculture

Farmers for Climate Action has welcomed the first National Statement on Climate Change and Agriculture, signed by all state and federal agriculture Ministers today.

Farmers for Climate Action, which represents 8000 farmers across Australia, has previously called for a National Plan on Climate Change and Agriculture, most recently with its report Farming Forever. The report outlines the need for a national plan and key policies that can support farmers to cut their emissions and increase farm productivity.

The new statement is an important first step to achieving this and commits all governments to work with Australia’s farmers to help “Australia achieve its full potential as a world-leading, climate-smart producer and exporter”.

It names three key commitments which all governments have signed up to:

  • Establish strong leadership and direction nationally on climate change and agriculture
  • Advocate for agriculture’s interests in the whole-of-economy shift to low emissions
  • Maintain global leadership on climate change and agriculture.

Farmers for Climate Action board director Brett Hosking, who runs a mixed farming operation in Victoria’s Mallee region, said there were three particularly encouraging elements in the statement.

“There’s a commitment to make farm climate policies more consistent across Australia, a commitment to seek out opportunities presented to farmers by a low emissions future, and a commitment to pursue fair, free and open trade in agriculture to support emissions reductions.

“We don’t want our farmers to miss out on the huge opportunities a low-emissions economy creates. We know some of the big overseas markets which buy our farm produce are pushing us to do better on emissions and biodiversity, and this is a reality which must be met head-on.

“Farmers are leading on emissions reduction and it’s time coal and gas companies seriously reduced their emissions – and not just by buying offsets from farmers. Farmers can’t reduce Australia’s emissions all on our own.

“Floods, drought and fires made worse by climate change are sending insurance costs through the roof. On my farm, we’re staring down the barrel of an El Niño right now.

“Farmers for Climate Action calls on all agriculture Ministers to keep these important commitments to combine efforts and resources to support Australia’s farmers to adapt to a changing climate whilst growing on-farm productivity. We will be watching closely. Honouring these commitments will help ensure Australian farmers continue to provide Australians and customers abroad with the cleanest, safest and most nutritional food in the world.

“We have the opportunity to tackle the key driver of climate change and make deep emissions reductions in this decisive decade. It’s time to take that opportunity.”


Media contacts:
Les White 0409 805 122 /

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