Farmers to Gain New Incentives

By Hari Yellina
Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Farmers in Australia are being encouraged to take advantage of a multi-million dollar government programme aimed at lowering the country’s carbon emissions. Farmers were reassured that they will not be forced to modify the method used to manage land under the federal government’s decarbonisation plan as the $50 million Soil Carbon Innovation Challenge kicked off on Friday. Angus Taylor, the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the money will help farmers figure out how much their plot of land is worth.

“Our soils now retain billions of tonnes of carbon, and as they become healthier and more productive, they will be able to hold even more,” Mr Taylor said on Friday. The scheme’s initial stage corresponded with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s 15-minute pre-recorded talk to a Bush Summit, during which he discussed farmer incentives. Mr Morrison, who is in Rome for a G20 meeting before flying to Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference, highlighted the financial incentives available to farmers that improve biodiversity while simultaneously sequestering carbon.

The administration said this week that it will commit to a net-zero carbon emissions reduction objective by 2050, in line with international efforts. “Our approach to net zero forces our farmers to do nothing more than what you’re already doing and will choose to do in the future,” Mr Morrison said at The Daily Telegraph’s summit. The government’s climate strategy, according to Mr Morrison, will be technology driven. He explained, “We don’t want to tax you for doing it, and we don’t want to limit you.” “Under our strategy, the government will not shut down any industrial or power plant, nor will it change how farmers manage their land.” He admitted that as the world moves toward a low-carbon future, some regional communities may face challenges. He repeated concerns that the government’s emission “plan”, which is relying on future technology, is just “a hope”. He again called on the government to legislate its net zero emissions targets.

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