Townsville Bulletin

Farmers must ‘share burden’ of emissions bid

- TOM MINEAR

FARMERS should not be exempt from Australia’s push to reach net-zero emissions, according to the Grattan Institute, which is calling on the government to bankroll new research into cutting emissions caused by animals.

The think-tank also wants red tape on the developmen­t of meat alternativ­es to be slashed, arguing that demand for traditiona­l and manufactur­ed proteins will keep growing.

In a report to be released on Monday, the institute’s energy and climate change program energy director Tony Wood said that agricultur­e was a “difficult sector in which to cut emissions” and would likely remain a major source of emissions by 2050.

But he said action could still be taken now, including empowering the government’s emissions reduction fund to explore and develop lowemissio­ns technology for farmers, and providing more direct support to farmers to share informatio­n about cleaner practices.

The report detailed how dietary and chemical supplement­s for cattle could eventually cut back methane emissions.

The agricultur­e sector was responsibl­e for 15 per cent of Australia’s emissions in 2019, totalling 76.5 million tonnes, with 60 million coming directly from animals.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he will outline Australia’s plan to reach net-zero emissions before the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow in November.

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said last week said his colleagues would have a chance to have their say about locking in a net-zero target.

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