The National Farmers’ Federation welcomes the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap discussion paper released today.
“Research and development and the ability to innovate and develop new technologies across the economy will shape our capacity to transition to a low emissions future,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“The report rightly seeks to have all options on the table for consideration.
“There are a range of technologies that continue to be under development such as hydrogen, which if proved, provide significant transition opportunities as an alternative fuel source.”
Mr Mahar said while such technologies were being developed there was a continued need to manage a careful and just transition.
“A sensible and measured approach to transition is critical, especially during these tough economic conditions.”
Mr Mahar said importantly, the paper recognised the opportunity for agriculture to be part of a low carbon future:
“In the agriculture sector, there are opportunities to improve soil carbon levels and livestock productivity, as well as deploying technologies to enhance fertiliser use, carbon storage in vegetation and improve fire management”
“There’s no doubt agriculture will continue to play a significant role in a low carbon future as an industry that can both emit and sequester carbon.
“Greater technological investment will ensure that agriculture can contribute to Australia’s emissions reduction goals while allowing farmers to grow food and fibre for a growing global population.”
The agriculture sector has already made a significant contribution to Australia’s emissions reduction targets. Between 1996 and 2016, agriculture reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 63 per cent.
As part of it’s vision for farm gate output to tally $100 billion by 2030, the NFF has a goal for the sector to be trending towards carbon neutrality by the same year.
“The NFF and our members recognise the broader challenges of emissions reduction, especially in electricity and transport, both of which major cost contributors to the agriculture sector,” Mr Mahar said.
“Affordable and reliable electricity will be important going forward, in which gas generation will play a part in firming the grid.
“The paper also acknowledges the role of microgrids and stand-alone power systems in lowering costs and emissions and improving reliability for rural and remote communities.
“The NFF looks forward to further engagement through the discussion paper process.”
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