Western Australia is a big state. We have many different kinds of environments, with many kinds of food and fibre produced by many people for many markets all over the world.
When it comes to working towards net zero emissions (aka carbon neutrality) while remaining profitable and productive, there are no silver bullets.
Individuals, businesses and organisations are taking steps towards net zero emissions, in ways that make sense for them.
Here are some of their stories.
Jody and I view ourselves as custodians of nature for future generations and as such have a responsibility to leave the land in a better position than we found it. After protracted succession planning with the previous generation, we are conscious of getting the next generation invested as soon as possible. With our daughters asking questions about the future of our planet we feel it’s important to make business decisions with the environment in mind.
A farm that is carbon neutral or produces fewer emissions per unit of product is more efficient than those farms that have higher emissions. Additionally, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the products they purchase. In the future, it is highly likely that carbon neutrality will be a market access requirement, or at least those products that can be sold as carbon neutral will attract a price premium.
We have for a long time accepted that our climate has been changing. Since 2003 and farming together in Corrigin, we have seen severe frost events and the seasons moving to drier winters and longer, hotter summers. Every year now we seem to be breaking the wrong climate records. We have been adapting, we grow more barley for improved frost tolerance, we have diversified into livestock, we grow summer and fodder crops, we plant trees, but it isn’t enough. Our thinking has moved from ‘just adapting, to more sequestration and mitigation strategies’.
Over the last 20 years, Australia has become a major and reliable supplier of canola into the European biofuel market. This market provides a price premium over other canola markets, because it can only be accessed by growers who meet sustainability requirements, and are efficient enough to meet on-farm GHG emission limits. Why? Because if on-farm GHG emissions are high then biofuel provides no GHG reductions over regular diesel.