Farmers and land managers
There are many opportunities for farmers and land managers to assist Australia's transition to a lower-emissions economy. Farmers are being supported to use more energy efficient equipment, incorporate land-use changes such as revegetation, and adopt new farming practices.
Australia's large land mass gives us the potential to reduce emissions by storing carbon in our vegetation and landscapes. However, we need to carefully manage these objectives to align with good outcomes for water use, land productivity and biodiversity.
Several government programs and policies are supporting farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the changing climate, while taking into account broader environmental values.
The Emissions Reduction Fund has provided a new income stream for farmers and land managers. In 2017 the Australian Farm Institute estimated the Fund is distributing more than $225 million in annual revenue between farmers, land managers and carbon service providers.
Emissions reduction projects in the agriculture and land sector can increase productivityand provide other important environmental benefits such as positive biodiversity outcomes. The Emissions Reduction Fund provides Indigenous and other remote communities, with economic and cultural opportunities.
Did you know?More than 80 per cent of the emissions reductions contracted under the Emissions Reduction Fund are in the land sector.
Ways for farmers and land managers to participate or learn more
The Emissions Reduction Fund provides incentives for organisations and individuals, including farmers and land managers, to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and store carbon. It has provided an additional income stream for farmers and land managers. Eligible activities for farmers and land managers to participate in the ERF include managing methane emissions from cattle, capturing and combusting methane from waste in piggeries, savanna fire management during early dry season, and storing soil in carbon.
A good example of a farming initiative to benefit under the ERF is the Evans family's Tambua Regeneration project near Cobar in NSW. Tambua station produces fine quality wool and cattle products. Over the years the farm has overcome a number of challenges that so often occur when farming including financial hardship, drought and bushfires. The ERF project establishes permanent native forests on the property through assisted regeneration from seed in the ground on land that was previously cleared of vegetation and where regrowth has been suppressed for over 10 years. The project is assisting native forest regrowth by managing the timing and extent of grazing and ceasing of mechanical clearing to allow the germination and development of native forests. The project has successfully contracted over 230,000 tonnes of emissions reductions through the Fund - based on the average cost per tonne of contracted abatement, this project represents a new income stream of $2.7 million.
Emissions Reduction Fund projects
The Emissions Reduction Fund is one of the Australia Government's major policies addressing climate change with a national focus on a range of projects including agriculture, energy efficiency, and transport
The Clean Energy Innovation Fund is a $200 million Australian Government initiative to support emerging technologies move from the demonstration phase to commercial deployment. It works with financiers and energy service providers increase investment in agribusiness activities that reduce emissions. These investments help agribusinesses save on energy costs, increase their competitiveness and boost their export potential.
The Renewable Energy Target is the Australian Government scheme designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector and to encourage the additional generation of electricity from sustainable and renewable sources.
The National Landcare Program is a locally focussed initiative supporting projects protecting and restoring the environment and making agriculture more sustainable and productive contributing to greenhouse gas mitigation. The Australian Government is investing $1 billion through the Program over four years from 2014-15.
20 Million Trees is a scheme to plant 20 million trees by 2020 benefiting environmental conservation through community engagement and contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The National Energy Productivity Plan is designed to deliver a 40 per cent improvement in Australia's energy productivity by 2030 and contribute to Australia's 2030 emissions reduction target. It includes measures to improve energy productivity in the land and agricultural sectors. Information and case studies on how agricultural businesses can reduce energy use can be found at the Energy Business website. Measures in early-stage development promote voluntary action, for example, helping businesses self-manage energy costs through information, capacity building and improved services.
The National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy sets out how Australia is managing the risks of a variable and changing climate for the benefit of the community, economy and environment and what a climate-resilient future will look like. It includes a set of principles to on how we can adapt to climate change effectively and to build resilience as well as outlining the Government's vision for the future.
The Reef 2050 Plan is the overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef until 2050 including from the impacts of climate change. Up to $1 billion of investment finance is available for clean energy projects and businesses, including for farms that support delivery of the Plan.
- Further information: Clean Energy Finance Corp: Where we invest
Energy market reform is a major priority of CoAG to improve market efficiency and productivity gains in the electricity sector.
The National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) supports farmers and land managers to make decisions as they prepare for and manage the risks of climate change and sea-level rise.
The CoastAdapt tool is an online information and decisions support framework. The tool can be used by farmers, land managers and anyone interested in Australia's coast to manage the risks of climate change and sea-level rise.
The Truck Buyers Guide is an Australian Government initiative to help in choosing a small or medium size truck or commercial vehicle to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
The National Greenhouse Gas Accounts a series of comprehensive reports and databases that estimate, and account for, Australia's greenhouse gas emissions on a national, state and territory basis.
In particular, farmers and land managers can obtain:
- emissions data specific to particular agricultural sectors and land activities from the Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System
- latest available official emissions data from the Quarterly Update of Australia's national greenhouse gas inventory
Australia's emissions projections provide detailed information on Australia's emissions trends and how we are tracking against our emissions reduction targets, including sector specific analysis.