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Agricultural sector could be net zero by 2040

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

A report just released from from Ernst&Young suggests that Regions are ‘disproportionately affected’ by climate risk but enhancing current emissions reduction programs would help.

Cattle saleyards at Roma, part of the Maranoa electorate in Queensland. The Ernst & Young analysis found regional economies like Maranoa are well positioned to seize the upside of carbon farming. Photograph: Dan Peled/AAP

This article is from the Guardian Katharine Murphy and Sarah MartinWed 15 Sep 2021 03.30 AEST

Australia’s agricultural sector can reach net zero emissions by 2040, achieving emissions reductions of 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2035 by scaling up existing Morrison government programs, according to new work from Ernst & Young.

The core of the abatement strategy modelled for the group Farmers for Climate Action involves reducing methane, electrifying transport, overhauling some land use, including more reforestation of marginal farmland, and improving land management through practices like increasing carbon sequestered in cropland. Read more

The Ernst & Young analysis also includes a case study of the electorate of Maranoa now held by the federal agriculture minister and Queensland National, David Littleproud. It notes climate-related risks are likely to affect the main industry sectors in Maranoa which include agriculture, mining, electricity, gas and water, and construction. The analysis warns regional economies like Maranoa will be “disproportionately affected” by climate risk compared to urban regions due to the lack of alternative employment opportunities or industries. But it notes that Maranoa “and Queensland more broadly, is well-positioned to seize the upside of carbon farming” with 278 projects now registered under the Coalition’s emissions reduction fund.

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