Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Farmers to have say in Australian climate change action

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

Australia’s agriculture sector is set to have a seat at the table when it comes to deciding how the nation will tackle climate change in the future.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Murray Watt, has welcomed this week’s announcement that the Austrlaian Government will work with farmers, industry, the climate movement, experts, unions and the community to develop six sectoral plans to help reach Australia’s net zero 2050 goals.

Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek and Minister Watt will help to develop the Agriculture and Land plan, alongside Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen.

“Australian farmers are on the front line of climate change,” Minister Bowen said.

“We want to learn from their knowledge, innovation and ideas to ensure our agricultural industry remains not only sustainable but increasingly competitive in our net zero economy.”

It follows the endorsement of the National Statement on Climate Change and Agriculture by every state and territory at last week’s Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting.

“The national statement, and this week’s announcement speaks to a shared commitment to provide leadership and work in partnership with our agriculture sector, so that Australia leads the world in climate-smart agriculture practices,” Minister Watt said.

“Many leading industry groups including the National Farmers’ Federation, Meat and Livestock Australia, GrainGrowers and Wine Australia have their own plans to reach net zero by 2050 or even sooner, and the whole country can benefit from that expertise.

“Farmers and landholders have been at the forefront of sustainability for a long time, so it’s only right that they are given the opportunity to contribute and share that knowledge.

“Through droughts, increasing natural disasters and rising input costs it makes good business sense to look at ways to reduce usage. I’ve seen great examples of technology, by-product usage and smart watering and cropping which is making a real difference right across the country.”

He said the Albanese Government was investing in climate smart agriculture, both through Research and Development Corporations (RDCs), and directly by boosting carbon farming and forestry jobsinvesting in methane reducing feed supplements and helping farmers take up opportunities on-farm through a Climate Smart Agriculture package under the next phase of the Natural Heritage Trust (NHT).

“We are also investing in trade support to help the agricultural sector prove its sustainability wins to the world, which is becoming increasingly important to our trading partners.”

“I look forward to working on the plan, so we can do what’s both possible and practical to stop dangerous climate change and realise the economic opportunities of net zero,” said Minister Watt.

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