20 August 2020

A good start – Farmers for Climate Action responds to the National Farmers Federation’s new carbon neutral policy

Farmers for Climate Action commends the National Farmers Federation on backing a carbon neutral Australian economy by 2050.

Farmers for Climate Action, which is supported by about 5000 Australian farmers, has been working as a member organisation of the National Farmers Federation to push for the adoption of a carbon neutral target.

CEO Wendy Cohen said climate change, caused by human activity, was already costing Australian farmers money and posed a serious threat to the future of agriculture across much of the country.

“This is a really encouraging first step towards bringing the agricultural sector into line with other Australian industries,” she said.

“The policy lays the foundation for the National Farmers Federation to advocate for support for farmers who want to reduce their own carbon footprints and manage the climate risks they face.”

“The National Farmers Federation can also play a role in pushing for action on climate change by Australian governments, on behalf of their members.”

“Now that the carbon neutral policy has been established, we’re looking forward to working towards more ambitious targets for the Australian economy, so farmers can benefit from the global shift towards a low-emissions future.” 

Research released at the end of 2019 by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences found that since the year 2000, the impacts of climate change have cut average annual broadacre farm profits by around 22 per cent.

The same study found that the average loss in production of broadacre crops across Australia since the year 2000 has amounted to $1.1 billion a year.

Farmers for Climate Action chair Lucinda Corrigan, who runs a large, multi-property cattle genetics enterprise based in the Murray Valley, welcomed the policy announcement.

“It’s a great start, although the science on climate change tells us that being carbon neutral by 2050 is not ambitious enough,” she said.

“The red meat industry has a well known aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and we are making significant progress towards reaching that goal.”

“There is an economic imperative to reaching carbon neutrality.”

“Australia is already known for producing safe and high-quality food, adding carbon neutrality to our value proposition will give us an edge.”

National Farmers Federation CEO Tony Mahar acknowledged the role Farmers for Climate Action played in bringing the policy into fruition.

“The National Farmers’ Federation’s climate change policy, like all our positions on the critical issues for agriculture, was arrived at with the input of the many voices within our membership.”

“We were pleased to have the contribution of Farmers for Climate Action in this process.”

ENDS

To interview Wendy Cohen or Lucinda Corrigan, call Lara Nicholson on 0431 050 768 or [email protected]

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