The National Farmers Federation (NFF) has called out Labor and the Coalition for not offering a clear plan for agriculture and climate change. There was hardly any mention of the role of farmers in climate change in a debate between agriculture minister David Littleproud and Labor shadow agriculture minister Julie Collins. NFF president Fiona Simson said farmers are disappointed they have heard very little from either of major political party during the election campaign about agriculture’s inclusion in the nation’s reduced emissions future. NFF wants a commitment that policies to transition to net zero do not place regulatory burdens or economic imposts on the farm sector. NFF is pushing for Labor and the Coalition to commit to a new $2bn fund to reward farmers who improve the health of their land. Along with $10m for the Climate Change Authority’s review of the Emissions Reduction Fund to ensure it reflects the current needs of the sector as well as an extra $20m over four years for R&D.
The Government’s plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050 models a 29% – 36% reduction in emissions from agriculture from 2005 to 2050, far less than the reduction expected from the electricity sector. But the plan has come under attack from global ratings agency Standard & Poor (S&P) who has said the federal direction is unclear and confusing and warned Australia risked being left behind in the energy transition. S&P also criticised Labor for lacking climate ambition, saying the states had taken leadership on policy and targets.