Today at the CCRSPI conference on agriculture and climate change
- Can our farmers really help Australia meet its emissions targets using ‘soil carbon’?
- What will happen to the nation’s agriculture and industry if a future Government withdraws from carbon pricing and trading?
- And why is nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s capacity to soak up carbon—the wetlands and estuaries—not included in carbon legislation?
These are crucial questions, given that both sides of politics are relying heavily on Australia’s farmers and the land they cultivate to slow the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s ‘clean energy future’ package includes a carbon farming scheme, and Opposition Leader Tony Abbot’s ‘direct action’ plan places much of its hope in soil carbon.
Is this reliance on the land sector justified?
Conference chair Snow Barlow is available to talk about the big picture today at the Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries Conference at the MCG in Melbourne today.
CSIRO’s Jeff Baldock and Colin Creighton of FRDC can talk about the science behind soil carbon and blue carbon respectively.
And Ben Keogh can talk about the critical roles of agricultural carbon management and a price on carbon.
What will happen to the nation’s agriculture and industry if a future Government withdraws from carbon pricing and trading?
Ben Keogh, manager of agriculture carbon management and emissions trading consultants Australian Carbon Traders, who will be speaking on Carbon farming – a business perspective. Not surprisingly he believes that effective carbon management is critical to Australia’s economic future. “Carbon markets are far bigger than Australia, and they will continue. Any removal of the carbon price in Australia will lead to an exodus of talent from the industry. And any deferral of a carbon price will have ramifications through the economy by embedding out-dated practices, making any future shift all the harder.”
Why is nearly 40 per cent of Australia’s capacity to soak up carbon—the wetlands and estuaries—not included in carbon legislation?
Colin Creighton of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, is talking about Including the moist and most productive bits in Australian policy and action. He asks why Australia’s wetlands and estuaries have been neglected in carbon policy. “They are the most productive ecosystems, the most bio-diverse, the highest carbon sequesters per hectare and produce the highest quality healthy food sustainably at the lowest input costs of all primary industries,” he argues.
Can our farmers really help Australia meet its emissions targets using ‘soil carbon’?
Jeff Baldock of CSIRO, in his paper Australian soil carbon stocks: a summary of the SCaRP program results, surveys the most recent evidence of the levels of carbon stored in Australian soils. And it shows how difficult it is to discern the impact on carbon absorption of different agricultural practices. “No individual management practice has the same influence on soil carbon stocks across all agricultural regions. And significant differences in soil carbon stocks often were not detected despite strong variations in management practices.”
Media are welcome at the conference in the Olympic Room at the MCG. Enter via gate 3
More information on these stories and others at http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/agricultureandclimate
Tomorrow: The Aussie farmers already adapting to climate change
Tomorrow’s stories focus on real, on-the-ground actions that farmers are taking to respond to climate change.
- Hot, dry and full of data: the farmer using science to get good profits in bad weather
- Climate actions trump beliefs: Victoria’s farmers are sceptical but would rather adapt than debate
- Dairy farming in a changing climate: rainforests, laneways and water recycling. And double the cows
- Who’s ready? CSIRO scores Australia’s farmers on preparations for a new climate
- Climate change moves at triple speed in our south-eastern fisheries: will our lobsters keep up?
For interviews: Thami Croeser: 0421 133 012, AJ Epstein: 0433 339 141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org