The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomes the Net Zero Australia study report, which recognises the need for a fair transition to a carbon neutral future – and not at the expense of agriculture.
The NFF was on the report’s advisory group and President Fiona Simson said agriculture had been listened to, but it was important this was sustained as Australia progresses its economy-wide 2050 target.
“It is crucial any work towards net zero includes a farmer voice and we believe our input has been understood and incorporated into the modelling, which is the most comprehensive analysis we have seen for Australia,” Ms Simson said.
“We’ve called for a fair and planned transition to Australia’s 2050 goal and this report delivers on this.”
The report outlines exclusion areas to reduce the likelihood of solar and wind developments on productive farmland, while water reliant industries like hydrogen will use desalinised water rather than tapping into Australia’s limited fresh water supplies.
“While this doesn’t run a legislated red line through these potential renewable developments, it is reassuring the transition will be cautious and considerate,” Ms Simson said.
“A carbon neutral future must not be at the detriment of valuable food and fibre producing land”.
“Australian farmers have been punching above their weight towards net zero, consistently reducing emissions, setting their own ambitious commodity driven targets and supporting this economy-wide goal.”
Ms Simson said it was reassuring to see the report acknowledge to reach net zero, Australia must ‘invest in our people and land to reduce impacts and share benefits’ and we need to ‘carefully manage major land use changes, including the Indigenous Estate, ecosystems and agriculture’.
“We now have a plan but there’s still plenty more work ahead of us. We welcome the opportunity to be at the table in these discussions and be involved in the next phase.”