GRDC intensifies focus on greenhouse emissions
Author: Toni Somes | Date: 24 Feb 2020
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is taking a strong industry lead to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of Australian grain production, while maintaining and enhancing grower profitability.
GRDC Chair and Goondiwindi grain grower John Woods today announced a GRDC investment with CSIRO to support the nation’s grains industry to better measure and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Speaking at the GRDC Grains Research Update, Perth, Mr Woods said the 18-month investment would provide essential baseline data around the current level of greenhouse emissions, opportunities for mitigation and shape a realistic plan for emission reduction.
“This investment comes at a critical time for the industry, with intense global scrutiny on the links between greenhouse gases and climate change demanding a response across every sector of the economy,” Mr Woods said.
“It’s clear that future capital investment in the grains sector will be influenced by our ability to develop effective mitigation strategies and approaches to accountability.
“This new investment will help to facilitate grain growers’ access to working capital by aligning greenhouse gas emission practices to the increasingly rigorous requirements of finance institutions and other investors.
“Consumers and finance markets are requiring that sectors, including agriculture, demonstrate they are lowering emissions.
“The Australian grains industry must meet tougher sustainability requirements to access markets, such as the European Union canola market, which is valued at $1.5 billion per annum.
“This is about positioning growers to ensure they’re on the front foot and can clearly articulate what we’re doing as an industry to meet the demands of our consumers, markets, financiers and regulators.”
Mr Woods said the GRDC investment would focus initially on assessing the Australian grains industry’s greenhouse gas profile to establish a baseline measure.
“This will complement the suite of GRDC investments in its existing portfolio focused on driving profitability of growers while reducing emissions,” he said.
“It will also identify farming practices that can reduce emissions and opportunities for further research, development and extension (RD&E) to explore new mitigation opportunities, while enhancing enduring grower profitability.
“In addition, it will develop a realistic trajectory towards reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of Australian grain production that can be achieved as part of a profitable grain growing business sector.”
Mr Woods said the investment outcomes would be essential in supporting and enabling the work by the wider grains industry to develop a Grains Industry Sustainability Framework, being led by Grain Growers Ltd.
GRDC has a long history of investing in RD&E that assists grain growers to adapt to climate change, mitigate its impact and to manage industry-wide emissions.
“This investment will build on previous work undertaken through industry collaborations such as the Climate Research Strategy for Primary Industries (CRSPI) and the Managing Climate Variability Program collaboration, as well as investments to reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertiliser and explore soil carbon sequestration opportunities,” Mr Woods said.
Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is one of the world’s leading grains research organisations, responsible for planning, investing in and overseeing RD&E to deliver improvements in production, sustainability and profitability across the Australian grains industry. GRDC’s purpose is to invest in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian grain growers.
Toni Somes, GRDC Head of Corporate Affairs
0436 622 645
0427 189 827
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