The Climate Change Authority today released an issues paper for consultation on its new research project which is looking at ways to reduce carbon emissions on the land while enhancing our natural environment and helping farmers improve their bottom line.
In the third and final report of its 2016 Special Review into Australia’s climate goals and policies, the Climate Change Authority recommended further research into the multiple benefits for farm profitability and the broader environment that could result from well-designed emissions reduction policies on the land.
The Authority’s Chair, Wendy Craik, said “if you go out and talk to farmers, you quickly find that many of them are doing great things on their farms to deliver ‘win-win’ outcomes.”
“Improving agricultural soils by changing farming practices can mean that farms are more resistant to drought, crops or pasture grows better and now there is also the possibility of soil carbon credits.”
Planting trees along a creek or riverbed can also store carbon, help prevent erosion and reduce agricultural run-off improving water quality.
“It would be good to see more of this kind of action happening across the country,” Dr Craik said.
In this research, the Authority is keen to understand the barriers to achieving the multiple benefits of reducing emissions, enhanced natural resource management and on-farm profitability.
Could such barriers be overcome with smart policy design? Is there scope for better integration between policies?
What should the roles be for government, the private sector and non-government actors? Is it possible to create new markets to support and enhance environmental or social benefits like biodiversity, Indigenous employment or diversified farming operations?
The Authority encourages individuals and organisations with an interest in these issues to make a submission by 20 April 2017. These submissions will help inform development of a research paper that the Authority plans to release in mid-2017.
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