Meat & Livestock News

Cattle Australia Advocates for a Balanced Approach to Achieving 2050 Net Zero Goals

Cattle Australia (CA) has called on the Federal Government to adopt a balanced strategy in addressing climate change, particularly in the context of Australia’s 2050 net zero ambitions. This appeal was made in CA’s recent submission to the government regarding the proposed Agriculture and Land Sectoral Plan.

Dr Chris Parker, CEO of Cattle Australia, emphasised the significant role of grass-fed beef producers in climate change mitigation. Representing a substantial portion of Australia’s agricultural land, these producers are seen as key players in the journey towards climate neutrality.

Dr Parker highlighted that the Australian beef industry is already making notable contributions to prevent further global warming and, with adequate support, aims to achieve a state of climate neutrality, where beef production does not contribute to global temperature rise.

Cattle Australia’s stance is to support an industry-driven pathway towards this goal. This approach includes government assistance to help producers access necessary advice, technology, innovations, and incentives. The aim is to minimise negative environmental impacts while maintaining profitable and resilient beef production businesses.

The organisation stresses the importance of recognising the role of beef producers in global and regional food security, the cyclical nature of biogenic methane, and the impact of future planning on the social and economic well-being of rural and remote communities.

A report released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) in July 2023 provides context to this discussion. It revealed that Australia’s emissions intensities for cattle are below the average of other major developed countries. Additionally, Australia has seen a more significant reduction in agricultural emissions over the past 30 years compared to most other developed nations.

Dr. Parker pointed out that the beef industry has been at the forefront in terms of investment in research, development, and adoption of practices to minimise climate impact.

He sees a substantial opportunity for the government to collaborate with the industry to enhance the positive effects of Australian beef production on the climate. This collaboration should also consider the critical aspects of food and nutritional security and the societal role of meat.