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GrainGrowers' climate change policy, endorsed by the National Policy Group, seeks to maintain Australian grains domestic and global competitiveness while reducing emissions and increasing carbon sequestration. While Australian grain production accounts for less than two percent of Australia’s total emissions, the grains industry has and will continue to adapt practices, systems and businesses to futureproof the sector, enabling farmers to operate sustainably and prosper in a changing climate.

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GrainGrowers Supports:

  • Reducing emissions and the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector and all sectors of the Australian economy. Coordinated Government policies and strategies to address climate change while supporting economic, environmental, and social growth.
  • Net zero carbon by 2050 for Australia.
  • 15% reduction in grains emissions intensity by 2030.
  • Halve embedded emissions in inputs by 2040.
  • Investment, development and adoption of innovation and technology which enables farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • The Grains Sustainability Framework and its role in strengthening industry’s sustainability and ensuring we continue to meet the changing expectations and needs of our customers.
GrainGrowers Seeks:
  • RDE investment to identify pathways to carbon neutrality (net zero) or better which are economically and socially feasible, followed by associated extension and adoption programs.
  • GRDC to monitor GHG emissions and sequestration at 3-5 year intervals, and ensure regional level data is available for farmers to allow meaningful benchmarking.
  • A consistent approach to carbon accounting and measurement across agricultural sectors to enable accurate measurement and assist with calculating mitigation efforts and offsets, including through the national soils strategy.
  • Provide $2 million to Agriculture Innovation Australia to fast-track a tool to integrate carbon, biodiversity, soil, and environmental health data and reporting, and link this to existing farm management software applications
  • Governments to recognise the contribution farmers have already made to adapt to a changing climate and incentivise farmers’ efforts to adopt emission reduction and carbon sequestration processes that generate co-benefits to community and the environment. This includes:
    • the introduction of a new Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) loan to assist farmers undertake emissions reduction activities.
    • providing refundable tax offsets on equipment which reduces emissions such as that use in zero till and controlled traffic systems.
    • $20 million over 4 years for investment in research and technology to reduce grains-related emissions • Ensure that biodiversity payments are accessible for grain farmers (not just pastoralists) by incorporating grain farm specific criteria under the Carbon & Biodiversity scheme and future programs and publicly reporting the number of successful projects by farm type.

  • Regulation should not unfairly impose on farmers the cost of achieving national emission reductions objectives.
  • Government should prioritise access to and adoption of innovations and technologies including biotechnology, which support climate mitigation and adaptation activities.
  • Comprehensive strategy from Government to address climate change which incorporates the AGMIN national action plan.
  • AGMIN and its Climate Change Task Group to engage with industry on its national action plan as a matter of urgency and commit to publicly reporting on progress.
  • The Climate Solutions Fund to continue to expand its guidelines to encourage greater uptake of agricultural climate solutions projects. k
  • The Climate Change Authority should review the Emission Reduction Fund’s approach to carbon credits to recognise some farmers may generate credits for use within the farm business rather than for sale on an external market.
  • GRDC to report on its future-proofing climate related projects and to measure and report industry’s performance and progress on climate mitigation and adaption.
  • Any public environmental outcomes sought are agreed with land managers, including clear recognition of outcomes already achieved on farm, and appropriate incentives are available to achieve these. n
  • Risk management tools and insurance models that enable businesses to mitigate climate risks.
  • Government funded education programs are developed and provided to assist farmers’ understanding of carbon generation, offsets and markets which may impact their business. This will include targeted extension programs which outline potential income opportunities and risks for farmers from carbon markets and an initial $2 million should be invested in a pilot program.
  • A commitment from fertiliser manufacturers to halve embedded emissions in inputs by 2040.
  • Increased opportunities for domestic manufacturing of low emissions fertilizer, chemical, fuel, and other components such as machinery spare parts.
  • Provide incentives to encourage and expand local manufacturing capability of low emissions inputs in regional Australia to support halving of embedded emissions in inputs by 2040.
For more information, download GrainGrowers' Climate Change Policy by clicking the link above.
Contact:

Fiona McCredie

GrainGrowers Policy Manager, Sustainability & Natural Resource Management

fiona.mccredie@graingrowers.com.au