National Farmers' Federation

Climate Change

The National Farmers’ Federation is helping shape agriculture’s role in a low-emissions future.

Climate change will play a major role in Australian agriculture’s next decade, exacerbating climate risk while creating diverse new income opportunities.

Our Climate Policy

The National Farmers Federation (NFF) supports an economy-wide aspiration of net zero emissions by 2050 provided:

  • there are identifiable and economically viable pathways to net neutrality, including impacts from inputs such as energy; and
  • Commonwealth and State legislation is effective, equitable and helps deliver on-ground programs that benefit agricultural interests and do not create unnecessary regulatory impediments.

The NFF’s position is designed to allow producers, industry bodies and agriculture as a whole to establish credible baselines and continually assess the implications of policy interventions.

A transition to a low emissions economy will require transformation across a number of complementary sectors, especially electricity and transport. Policy adjustment and investment in research and development will be crucial to meet this task.

Policies that address climate change must be examined to minimise the risk of perverse outcomes and to deliver equitable outcomes for Australian farmers. Governments and industry service providers must have the tools, systems and knowledge required to establish an industry baseline, and be able to communicate this to farm businesses.

To view our Climate Change Policy in full, click here.

Watch the Agriculture and Climate Resilience webinar here.

Key Policy Outcomes

As we engage in the current policy environment, the National Farmers’ Federation is seeking the following key outcomes for its Members:

Australian agriculture continues to grow towards $100 billion by 2030. 
1. Robust soil carbon accounting, including soil measurement.
2. Clear links between soil carbon, biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services.
Farmers compensated for lost productive capacity due to land clearing legislation imposed on farmers.
Ensure there is no carbon border adjustment tax impact on agriculture and supply chains.
Greater investment in innovation to support measuring sustainability outcomes, reduce emissions and improve productivity.
1. Ensuring carbon credits are high quality and robust.
2. Ensuring risk of carbon trading (liability and price movement) is understood by landholders.
Ensuring how methane is accounted for is accurate and representative. See Global Warming Potential-Star (GWP*) model.

What is industry doing?

The NFF remains closely engaged with a comprehensive range of existing and new policy and investment frameworks being delivered by the Commonwealth.

The farm sector continues to co-invest in better research and development to meet farmers’ need for information, and deliver new tools and technologies aimed at lowering emissions.

Some key actions from industry include:
  • Investment to establish credible baselines and assess the implications of the policy.
  • Investment to coordinate climate change investment through the Climate Initiative.
  • Collaboration across industry to make the greatest gains from the adoption of the latest research and development.
  • Supporting RD&E to invest in technologies that can reduce emissions, improve resilience and adaptation.
Frameworks and targets by commodity sector

Learn more about how each commodity sector is responding to sustainability challenges using the links below. 

CO2-e – is the ‘carbon dioxide equivalent’, the standard unit for measuring greenhouse gas impacts. This expresses the impact of another greenhouse gas in terms of the amount of CO2 that would be produced. See a full glossary here.

Net Zero emissions – an overall balance between all greenhouse gas emissions produced and emissions removed from the atmosphere.

Carbon Neutral – Similar to net zero emissions but focuses only on CO2.

Further reading

Please see a fact sheet on the Climate Change Bill 2022 and Climate Change (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2022 here.

For recent submissions related to Climate Change, click here.

To read more about the NFF’s Climate Change Policy, click the image below: 

The world’s population is forecast to exceed 9 billion people by 2050, and demand for food and fibre is on track to increase by 60 per cent in that timeframe.

There is no doubt meeting this demand in the context of a changing environment, while at the same time contributing to global action to reduce emissions, is a challenge for all.

In December 2015, 195 countries including Australia, under the banner of the United Nations Framework Convention negotiated the “Paris Agreement” which aims to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to increase the ability to adapt to climate change.

Specifically, the Australian Government committed to implementing an economy wide target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

In 2017 the Australian Government will undertake a comprehensive review of climate change policies. NFF’s suite of climate policies (links below), together with our views about the future of energy generation are the basis of our contribution to this important national debate.

More Information: