National Farmers' Federation supports net zero target by 2050

The National Party has yet to finalise its position on climate policy, even as constituents are calling for a net zero target by 2050.

National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson.

National Farmers Federation President Fiona Simson. Source: AAP

The peak national body representing farmers and the agriculture sector says the federal government needs to make a commitment to a net zero emission target by 2050. 

It comes as the National Party, which traditionally represents voters in the bush, is yet to support the plan.

National Farmers' Federation President Fiona Simson said the federal government needs to agree to the target ahead of the global climate summit, COP26 in Glasgow, just a week away.

"We know from the IPCC (report) that if we’re going to keep the temperature, the warming, below 1.5 degrees, then we do need the world to agree to carbon neutral by 2050," she told ABC News. 

Ms Simson said there were industries in the agriculture sector that have committed to even more ambitious goals.

“We also know that there are a number of industries and commodities within my own sector, such as the pork sector with a 2025 target and the red meat sector with a 2030 target, who are much more ambitious.

“I think the first step for us, as in Australia, is to set that high-level target to ... support what’s going on in agriculture already.

"We absolutely think there is a lot of opportunity for us to be participating in a lower emissions economy but we are going to need some support as we go through those processes," she said. 

The federal government's coalition partner, the National Party, has yet to achieve a consensus position on climate policy. 

Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is expected to chair a party room meeting on Sunday to receive and discuss Prime Minister Scott Morrison's response to the demands the Nationals have made.

Mr Joyce declined to outline what their demands were but said they followed a similar theme.

"The thematics is making sure we look after the people in regional areas," he told ABC TV.

Deputy leader David Littleproud described it as a concise list of "safeguards and mechanisms".

"It's about making sure there is protection for regional Australia, but also the opportunity for regional Australia to grow and to be part of the solutions," he told 4BC radio.

Mr Joyce said Nationals members understood Australia's obligation to be a "good global citizen" with the COP26 talks due to start on 31 October.

Ms Simson farmers are already adapting their farming practices to respond to climate change and she sees "a lot of opportunity" to further innovate over the next 30 years. 

"Farmers are on the front line of it. We work with the climate everyday. And when it is erratic and increasingly more erratic as it is now, then it does come at a cost for farmers. 

"And that is why we are looking at how we manage our farms, how we manage our soil."


Published 23 October 2021 at 4:07pm, updated 23 October 2021 at 5:05pm
Source: SBS News