The state’s leading agricultural organization is asking the federal government to pay back billions owed to farmers.
The costly emissions reduction measures taken by farmers to help Australia meet its Kyoto commitments have resulted in a surplus of 431 million tonnes of captured carbon, worth more than $ 30 billion * today. hui.
NSW Farmers chairman James Jackson said the balance sheet needed to be adjusted before the federal government signed a deal in Glasgow.
“In Australia, we have seen agriculture pay for the nation’s carbon ‘sins’, with billions of dollars in carbon being taken from farmers at the stroke of the legislator’s pen,” Jackson said. .
“This is the statutory theft that we’ve been calling for a generation – everyone wants to fix carbon, but no one wants to pay.
“Before government does anything else on emissions, it needs to pay off its debts and recognize agriculture’s unique ability to use carbon, not steal it.
As an industry, agriculture is a big consumer of carbon dioxide, removing millions of tons from the atmosphere and turning them into useful things like food. Mr Jackson said many people miss this unique role of agriculture and it is time to set the record straight.
“It’s our business to use biology to make all kinds of things out of carbon dioxide and water, no other industry uses carbon dioxide per megaton like farmers do,” Mr. Jackson.
“If we, as a nation, leave Glasgow with a deal that places more restrictions on agriculture instead of recognizing its essential role in feeding and cleaning the planet, we will not have succeeded in resolving the real issues of carbon emissions.
“You wouldn’t want to drain a wetland or clear a rainforest to produce emissions (which they do), and neither should we unfairly charge an industry that is responsible for removing carbon dioxide from there. ‘atmosphere. “
* Figure calculated on a European rate of $ 70 per tonne