New funding released to improve greenhouse gas accounting in agriculture

Farmers have urged the federal government to continue its efforts to better understand the net emissions of the agricultural industry as new funding is released to improve greenhouse gas accounting.

The federal government announced $28.7 million in funding would be provided to improve greenhouse gas accounting systems within the agricultural sector as part of a $63.8 million dollar Agriculture and Land Sectoral Plan to drive emissions reduction in agriculture.

NSW Farmers Agricultural Science Committee Chair Alan Brown said with global sustainability targets drawing ever closer, further work to understand agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gases was essential before plans to transition to a net-zero economy could be progressed.

“Before we put any restrictions and targets on the agricultural industry to reduce emissions, it is critical that we understand the emissions measured and carbon sequestered on our farms in the first place,” Mr Brown said.

“Currently, we don’t have a complete or accurate understanding of industry’s net emissions, or how the agricultural sector contributes to global climate change more broadly– so it’s essential we stop and understand this before we move on any formal measures or targets to reduce them.

“Simply imposing measures without the correct information or consultation could well mean we don’t achieve our sustainability goals – or we achieve them, at a huge, unnecessary cost.”

With funding for the Plan to be rolled out over the next four years, Mr Brown said it was vital governments continued to work in partnership with industry to ensure the transition to net zero could be achieved without any impact on the nation’s food security.

“Working hand in hand with industry on initiatives like this is essential if governments want to achieve a net-zero economy, while still ensuring farmers can produce the food and fibre that feeds our nation and export industries,” Mr Brown said.

“Sustainability does not need to come at the cost of productivity in the agricultural sector ‒ and working with farmers on measuring emissions is the first step towards understanding the role we can play in reducing emissions within the industry, while still ensuring food security for the nation.”

-NSW Farmers