31 August 2020

Australian farmers hurt while the gas industry profits

FARMERS have continued to feel the pain from the drought, exacerbated by climate change, while the gas industry profits from pollution, Farmers for Climate Action said today.

The Federal Government’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the March quarter of 2020 showed that drought-induced livestock losses and declining fertiliser use drove a 5.5% decrease in emissions from agriculture, while emissions from liquefied gas exports rose 11.1%. 

South Gippsland beef farmer Fergus O’Connor said: “Farmers are leading on efforts to achieve net zero emissions in the agriculture sector, despite seeing our livelihoods severely affected by years of drought.”

“But while we are doing everything we can to move our sector forward, it is galling to see the gas industry continuing to increase its carbon pollution and line its pockets,” said O’Connor.

The Federal Government’s preliminary estimates for the June 2020 quarter showed that emissions are expected to decline significantly due to lower emissions from electricity generation, stationery energy, and transport. 

Wendy Cohen, CEO, Farmers for Climate Action, said: “A global pandemic is not a credible emissions reduction policy. The Federal Government still has no plan to deliver the significant, sustained emissions reductions we need.” 

“In fact, instead of planning to reduce emissions, this Federal Government is backing the expansion of gas, which would be a disaster for our climate, for our economy, and for regional and rural Australians.” 

“FCA’s Regional Horizons plan outlines how investing in climate solutions like large-scale renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture and resilient communities can strengthen regional economies, create new jobs, while addressing climate change,” said Ms Cohen. 

For interviews, contact Lara Nicholson – 0431 050 768 / [email protected]

FCA’s Regional Horizons economic recovery plan is available here.

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