FARMER representative group, GrainGrowers, has launched its climate change policy that seeks to maintain Australian grains domestic and global competitiveness while reducing emissions and increasing carbon sequestration.
Endorsed by its National Policy Group of elected grower representatives, the policy is designed to further enhance Australian growers’ ability to operate sustainably and prosper in a changing climate.
It supports net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for the agriculture sector and for a grains specific emissions target for 2030 to be developed within 18 months.
It also calls for profitable and scientifically robust pathways to carbon neutrality (or better) to be developed as these are essential elements for the grains sector to remain economically viable and meet customer expectations.
Coordinated investment, development and adoption of innovation and technology to enable growers to mitigate and adapt to climate change is also highlighted.
GrainGrowers chairman, Brett Hosking, said with global companies and key markets requiring firm commitments on sustainability credentials, it was important that a proactive approach including a reduction in the carbon footprint be adopted without sacrificing the productivity and profitability of our growers.
The policy highlights the need for Government funding towards education and skills development programs that will assist farmers in investigating carbon generation and emissions reductions opportunities.
“This is an ambitious policy and we need to work closely with industry and Government to deliver the science, skills and initiatives to support it,” he said.
“The Agriculture Ministers’ Forum (AGMIN) has already committed to developing a climate change strategy but our grains industry needs a seat at the table to achieve practical and profitable outcomes. Both Government and growers, as the key levy funders need to make sure that research and extension across Research Development Corporations (RDCs) are coordinated to deliver benefit for every farmer, regardless of their enterprise mix.”
Adapting farming practices
Mr Hosking said Australian growers were used to adapting their farming practices because of climate variability. It was important the grains sector remained a global example of a proactive and innovative sector by recognising the impacts of climate change.
“There are real opportunities for farmers to diversity their income, improve their farming businesses and deliver environmental and social outcomes. We want to protect and enhance our clean and green reputation and ensure farmers are rewarded for doing so,” he said.