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Coalition climate policy principles for farmers encouraging

2 February 2010

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomes the general principles outlined today in the Coalition’s climate change mitigation policy as it relates to the farm sector.

While highlighting that many questions still remain about the policy details and how it will be implemented, the NFF is buoyed by the recognition of the positive role that farmers can play in reducing greenhouse gas concentrations and storing carbon.

“The NFF is encouraged that that the Coalition has committed to an incentive based scheme for farmers to drive abatement from their sector,” NFF President David Crombie said.

“In addition, we are comforted by the Coalition’s commitment to no additional indirect costs to energy and energy related farm inputs, which can have a major impact on the profitability of our businesses and regional communities.

“We also welcome the bipartisan agreement to rule out financial penalties on direct farm emissions or the use of regulation on the agricultural sector. This provides some comfort that a climate policy framework can be developed that will encourage positive farmer engagement.

“The Coalition is also right to acknowledge the need to consider potential impacts on agriculture, ecosystems and water in providing incentives for forestry under their climate change policy. This is particularly the case as global food and fibre security continues to escalate as a major concern all over the world.

“Finally, the NFF seeks clarification on any Coalition plans in support of additional research and development (R&D) in forming their agriculture carbon policy.

“Regardless of the overriding policy approach, additional support for R&D into carbon mitigation options for the agricultural sector will be a vital ingredient in providing the right tools for farmers to effectively engage in the challenge.

“The NFF looks forward to more detail on the agricultural component of this announcement and working with the Coalition on the further development of this scheme.”

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