The Australian beef cattle industry is calling on the wider economy to follow its lead in setting net-zero climate targets and using the best available science to achieve them.
Cattle Council President Markus Rathsmann said if every sector had made the same cuts as the beef industry, we would have already doubled our targets under the Paris Climate Agreement.
“The beef industry has already cut its carbon footprint in half since 2005,” Mr Rathsmann said.
“What’s more, we are progressing our plan to have net zero emissions by 2030.
“We are investing in technology and innovation but not at the expense of our industry’s viability.
“There is no other industry sector in Australia that comes close when cutting carbon emissions.
“It’s important governments engage cattle producers fairly, to help meet the national target.
“Cattle producers understand we are a key part of any discussion on carbon, with most of the nation’s emissions reduction coming from change in land use on cattle properties.
“Cattle producers are carbon recyclers. We draw carbon out of the air through pasture production and can capture carbon in our soils.
“The emissions from cattle are also short-lived, unlike the emissions that come from fossil fuels.
“It’s important that cattle producers are fairly rewarded for offsetting the emissions of the wider community.
“The states are responsible for land use laws and are ultimately responsible for ensuring producers are compensated for the loss of any property rights or detrimental impacts on their business.
“CCA congratulate the Federal Government on its recent plan to pay farmers for maintaining vegetation through the Enhancing Remnant Vegetation Pilot.
“This is a good start, but we also need the states to engage with producers who manage nearly 80% of Australia’s agricultural land.
“The cattle industry has the land resources needed to do the work, but we need the states to come to the party with a sensible dialogue with our industry groups to engage producers.
“We can’t be expected to do this to the detriment of our business which produces clean, grassfed nutrient-dense and sustainable food for a hungry world.
“Cattle producers are taking responsibility for our emissions and every other industry needs to do their part too”
Towards net zero: Practical policies to reduce agricultural emissions (grattan.edu.au)
Climate Council – Agriculture’s contribution to Australia’s GHG Emissions