Focus on 2050 carbon targets

Opinion: Focus on 2050 carbon targets

Opinion
Angus Atkinson.

Angus Atkinson.

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Net carbon neutral 2050 is one of the most important issues the NFF Sustainable Development Committee will deal with this year.

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Net carbon neutral 2050 is one of the most important issues the National Farmers' Federation (NFF) Sustainable Development Committee will deal with this year.

The 2030 Roadmap, NFF's plan for a $100 billion industry, refers to an expectation that by 2050 the carbon market could provide an income of about $40 billion to the land sector.

This aspirational goal is predicated on significant developments in the methodologies, markets and innovations.

NFF would never support any target and/or proposals that would put the competitiveness or ongoing growth of major farm sectors at risk.

At this point, the NFF does not have a formal policy view on net carbon neutral 2050.

To manage the journey, the NFF is committed to working with its members, including NSW Farmers, and all commodities groups to develop plans or pathways by 2025 to make an informed assessment.

As a full-time farmer and NSW Farmers member, I believe it is critical for farmers to be part of this discussion.

The farming sector is under increasing pressure to commit to emissions targets, and the pathway for achieving these targets will be something all our members will need to grapple with in their various policy development forums.

It is important to remember that agriculture is in a unique position that it not only feeds the nation but it has enabled the Australian government to claim that Australia will exceed its emission reductions targets.

Farmers must be recognised for this magnificent achievement and be part of the ongoing discussions.

Let's be clear, the proposal of net carbon neutral by 2050 is an economy-wide aspiration, it's neither sector by sector nor farm by farm.

The diversity of agriculture means it will be a complicated process, not achieved in sound bites or headlines.

  • Angus Atkinson is chair of the National Farmers' Federation Sustainable Development Committee
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