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Green Paper poses a prudent way forward

16 July 2008

“TODAY the Australian Government’s preferred Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) recognises the unique complexities that impede agriculture’s coverage at this time,” National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) President David Crombie said.

“We are pleased the Government has not moved to impose an arbitrary date for covering agriculture, but instead identified a target date of 2015 – pending the need to first overcome practical impediments of measuring, monitoring and verification of carbon emissions – with a decision on inclusion or exclusion to be considered in 2013.

“That analysis is consistent with both Professor Ross Garnaut’s and the Productivity Commission’s findings.

“Importantly, the Government has recognised and emphasised the essential need to work in close consultation with agriculture to overcome these problems and in developing appropriate responses. That is a measured, responsible and prudent way forward.

“Australian farmers are committed to finding workable new ways to reduce the sector’s carbon footprint and ways farmers can adopt solutions to build on our leading contribution to reducing emissions on an equitable basis.

“The Green Paper’s intent takes account of three key issues for farmers, including:

  • The impracticalities of measuring, monitoring and verifying agricultural emissions,
  • The need to fully grasp agriculture’s life cycle to account for carbon stored in soil, crops and pastures; and
  • The need to challenge the international Kyoto rules to reflect Australia’s particular circumstances.

“Farmers have maintained that we are willing to play our part in meeting Australia’s, and the world’s, climate change challenge. Today’s Green Paper provides the opportunity for Government and farmers to work together to ensure this can be achieved in an equitable, measured and sustainable basis.

“Today, with the Government making its intent known, we can now work on the detail. To that end, the NFF’s Climate Change Taskforce is meeting in Canberra today to go through the Green Paper and prepare a comprehensive response in due course.”

[ENDS]

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