Farmers are already leading the way on methane reduction and it’s time the gas and coal industries did the same, Farmers for Climate Action say.
Methane from the agriculture sector has been falling but Federal Government data shows methane emissions from the gas industry in particular are rising due to industry expansion.
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Dr Fiona Davis said Australia could support a 30 per cent methane reduction target so long as it is willing to reduce methane from gas extraction, and support research, development and commercialisation efforts to continue improvements in agricultural methane.
“Food supply is not a negotiable or a nice-to-have,” Dr Davis said.
“Farmers are already reducing their methane output significantly. For instance, Fergus O’Connor in Victoria, and Lucinda Corrigan in NSW have increased production whilst reducing methane output. Mr O’Connor believes the planting of more than 18,500 trees in 10 years alongside the use of rotational grazing and compost has halved his farm’s greenhouse gas emissions whilst doubling beef production.
“We’re not afraid of Australia signing up to a 30% methane reduction target.“
Dr Davis also said farmers should not be used as a political football in public debate.
“Farmers cannot be used as cover for gas industry expansion which creates more methane and more carbon, increasing climate impacts felt by farmers.
“Fires, floods and drought are all hurting farmers. Our food supply is a key part of our national security.”
A report produced by EY for Farmers for Climate Action into opportunities in a low emissions future, found agriculture could reach net zero by 2040 whilst increasing production and without shrinking the beef herd or sheep flock.