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Thu 22, Mar 2018

Renewable energy policies are essential to effective climate change mitigation, according to the latest policy paper from Ag Institute Australia (AIA), which recognises climate change as a pressing issue for agriculture.

AIA, the peak body representing agricultural professionals in Australia, has pushed the importance of renewables in the new policy statement, Climate Change - Agriculture’s adaptation and resilience to climate change and variability.

“The progression to a largely renewables-based economy is seen by AIA as an essential step in mitigating human contribution to carbon change,” explains AIA Chair Andrew Bishop.

“However, this will require significant shifts in some agricultural enterprises and accompanying cost in converting to alternative powers sources as they become available.

“Government consideration of subsidies in assisting transition in the agricultural sector is seen as an investment in the agricultural system essential for the world’s food production.”

More broadly, Mr Bishop says the paper identifies and recognises climate change as a pressing challenge for humanity.

“The clear result of increasingly rapid, human-induced climatic changes suggests what was once thought to be a problem for future generations is actually a problem for our current generation and those that immediately follow,” Mr Bishop explains.

“Extensive scientific research and reporting and the use of evidence demonstrates overwhelmingly the contribution of human activity to the change in climate.”

“From an agricultural perspective, not only is the need for reduced emissions apparent, but the adaptive requirements for agricultural-based industries now and into the future is very real.”

Although simple and concise, the AIA policy statement addresses a mighty challenge, which often focusses on the huge task of mitigation.

“Agriculture and some types of agricultural systems have been identified as both causes of climate change and also victims of climate change,” Mr Bishop says.

“The need for international policy actions that both mitigate the extent that human activity contributes to climate change and supports adaptation of industries such as agriculture to a changed climate is pressing.”

The main points of the paper are:

  • Human activity is a significant contributor to climate change
  • Emissions control is an essential step in mitigating impacts of human-induced climate change
  • Renewable energy policies are an essential contributor to climate change mitigation
  • Change is now inevitable - planning to adapt.

The Climate Change - Agriculture’s adaptation and resilience to climate change and variability Policy Paper was developed by AIA’s Advocacy and Policy Special Interest Group. You can find the Policy Paper here.

AIA has developed a range of policy statements on areas such as Professional Accreditation, Biotechnology and Innovation, Biosecurity, Agricultural Science and Innovation and Mining and Co-existence on Agricultural Land. There are a number of new policies in development on issues critical to agriculture, which will be published on the AIA website here.


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