National Farmers' Federation

Farmers would bear brunt of Labor’s climate change policy

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has expressed its concern at Labor’s climate change policy which places the cost of achieving ambitious climate targets firmly on the shoulders of Australian farmers.
NFF President, Brent Finlay, said while full details of the policy were yet to be evaluated, there were a number of components which were cause for initial alarm, but left the door open to working with Labor to improve outcomes for the Australian agriculture industry.
“There is no doubt it is good to see the policy includes some positive sentiments like reinvigorating the carbon farming initiative,” Mr Finlay said.
“However, this is offset by the fact that by allowing the purchase of cheap overseas credits Australian farmers are automatically priced out of the carbon market.”
Mr Finlay said the sector was also highly concerned by Labor’s proposed land management measures which failed to recognise the role responsible and sustainable agriculture played in contributing both to the nation’s productivity and its environmental outcomes.
“Regulating land management is asking farmers who wish to develop land to almost single-handedly bear the cost of Australia’s biodiversity, and now climate goals, without access to a market or payments to deliver this service,” he said.
“This policy is unfair and fails to recognise the genuine opportunities that exist for farmers to make a meaningful contribution to meeting such ambitious carbon targets through measures including improving energy efficiency, reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions and sequestration in soil.
“Innovation and facilitating farmers’ participation in carbon markets, not land use regulation, should be the core of Australia’s climate policy.
“It’s disappointing the ALP has failed to recognise the clear opportunities that exist.”

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