Maintaining a sustainable and profitable agriculture sector is essential to the longevity and prosperity of Queensland farmers and the environment into the future. And it is for these future generations that many farmers steward their lands and operate their businesses to the highest standard, in order to leave them in a better condition than when they acquired them. With this in mind, Queensland farmers are firmly a part of solution when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state.
Understanding that reducing the amount and rate of greenhouse gas emissions is important for the overall health of people and the environment, the Queensland Government has set a state target to reach zero net emissions by 2050, along with the interim target for at least a 30 per cent reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. While Queensland’s agriculture sector greenhouse gas emissions vary in response to climatic and economic conditions, emissions from the sector decreased by 6 per cent between 2005 and 2016, due to declining livestock numbers.
The sector still has work to do to meet state targets, and many farmers are taking a proactive approach to reducing emissions on farm. The agriculture sector is continuing to make significant investments in clean energy to decarbonise the economy. Figures from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation show a progressive commitment among farmers to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, with more loan incentives taken up by the agriculture sector than any other. And many farmers have been recipients of funding through Queensland’s Land Restoration Fund, which builds on the federal government’s Emission Reduction Fund, further expanding carbon farming opportunities in the state.
In addition, the state government funded, and Queensland Farmers’ Federation (QFF) led Energy Savers Program could see participating farms across the state reduce emissions by 38t CO2-e if they were to implement the recommendations of their energy audits. With the program due to end this financial year, further government support is necessary to realise and increase emission reductions, meet state targets and ensure that Queensland farmers remain among the cleanest and greenest in the world.