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AustralianFarmers

Ministers agree on climate adaptation plan for agriculture

Commonwealth, state and territory agriculture ministers have endorsed a plan for the sector’s adaptation to climate change. 

Agreement was reached at the AGMIN meeting in Melbourne today. Led by the Victorian Government, the strategy was developed over 18 months and included extensive consultation. 

“Climate change poses a significant challenge for Australian agriculture,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said. 

“The NFF supports a holistic Government approach that enables farmers to both contribute to Australia’s national emissions reduction and efficiently participate in carbon markets.

The NFF’s 2030 Roadmap, the plan for agriculture to be a $100 billion industry by 2030, identifies a strategy for climate change adaption as a key lever in achieving growth. 

“We must continue to develop a trajectory approach towards carbon neutrality while maintaining a focus on increasing productivity and profitability,” Mr Mahar said. 

Specifically, the NFF’s climate policy includes the following priorities:

  • Support for adaptation while ensuring that agricultural productivity and farm business profitability can be sustained in the face of changing climatic conditions;
  • A focus on innovation and investment in climate research and development that drives innovation and builds resilience; and
  • An embracing of the opportunities for emissions reduction and sequestration in the farm sector and the facilitation of farmer participation in carbon markets.

“Today’s announcementis an important milestone for the agricultural sector,” Mr Mahar said. 

“While we need to review the policy paper in detail our expectation is that today’s endorsement by AGMIN will provide a critical framework to pursue coordinated, considered and sensible pathways.” 

This is expected to happen through four key activity areas:

  • Delivering information and tools to improve on-farm decisions and risk management:
  • Driving research and innovation to support adaptation and mitigation technology;
  • Strengthening market opportunities and farming business models to build resilience; and
  • Preparing for increasing biosecurity risks as the risk of pests, diseases and weeds changes.

Mr Mahar said the NFF would continue to act to ensure appropriate measures were in place to grow the sector cost effectively, reduce agriculture’s national greehouse gas emissions profile and importantly understand the impacts and opportunities that a varied climate presents.

The NFF particularly notes that an advisory committee will be created to advice the Agricultural Senior Officials Group (AGSOC). 

“The NFF continues to participate in forums that are considering and coordinating climate research and responses. Given that experience, we will commence a dialog with government about direct industry membership on the climate change group.

“We look forward to further engagement with jurisdictions and mechanisms to implement the strategy are developed,” Mr Mahar said.

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