National Farmers Federation Supports Net Zero
The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has declared its support for net zero by 2050. The peak national representative body for farmers and the agriculture sector has urged the federal government to commit to the target.
This is despite the fact that the National Party which traditionally represents rural communities has yet to declare its official position on emissions.
- The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has declared its support for net zero by 2050.
- The National Party which traditionally represents rural communities has yet to declare its official position on emissions.
- NFF president Fiona Simson has urged the federal government to make decisions about net zero.
- Investment will need to be made for farmers to fully contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.
NFF prompting government to make decisions
NFF president Fiona Simson spoke of the need for decisions about the target to be made prior to COP26 in Glasgow. She told ABC News that the country needs to agree to carbon neutral by 2050 to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.
Ms. Simson also explained that there were industries within the Australian agriculture sector that had set more ambitious targets. The pork sector has set a target of net zero by 2025, and the red meat sector target is carbon neutral by 2030.
These targets support the findings of a Grattan Institute report which suggests that farmers play a vital role in Australia’s attempt to be carbon neutral by 2050. The report states that the country is not able to meet the testing target without the support of farmers.
It goes on to detail the benefits to the agriculture industry of committing to the target. These benefits include:
- Growing, and selling at a premium, low-emissions produce for consumers who are climate conscious.
- Shielding exporters from potential tariffs on produce that comes from countries without carbon restrictions.
- Improving the efficiency of farming overall.
- Reducing the effects of climate change (such as bush fires) on the environment.
National Party undecided on its support for net zero target
The declaration by the NFF is currently at odds with the National Party. This may seem strange given that the National Party traditionally represents people from rural farming communities.
The party’s leader Barnaby Joyce has raised concerns about the target and its effects on rural communities. This means that he has yet to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison regarding climate related actions.
This does not mean that an agreement will not happen. Mr Joyce has said the concerns are merely about protecting regional Australia and making sure it has the opportunity to achieve growth and play a role in climate solutions.
One thing that most people agree on is that it will be almost impossible for farmers to play their part in achieving any net zero target without investment being made in the sector.
New investment required if net zero targets to be met
If farmers are to reduce emissions within their individual businesses, they need better tools to check, report on, and evaluate those emissions. This means that significant investment is required.
A significant part of this investment needs to be in research, to secure the baseline information required in order to measure improvements. Farmers also need to be presented with new pathways to achieve a reduction in emissions and there need to be fewer barriers to participating in carbon markets.
NFF President Fiona Simson believes that, with the right investment, the agriculture sector could play an integral role in Australia becoming a global leader in low agriculture emissions. It will be interesting to see if this comes to pass.