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How farmers can be part of Australia’s push to reach net zero emissions by 2050

Tom Elliott
Article image for How farmers can be part of Australia’s push to reach net zero emissions by 2050

A new report by the Grattan Institute says farmers must be part of Australia’s push to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Currently, the biggest source of emissions from agriculture in Australia is from cattle and sheep, representing a total of 15 per cent of all Australian emissions.

Energy and Climate Change Program Director at the Grattan Institute Tony Wood says it’s due to the way they “belch out methane”.

“That methane is a pretty toxic greenhouse gas, but of course it’s also a source of energy, that if it could be kept inside the cow would actually be better for growing the cow,” he told Tom Elliott on 3AW Drive.

However, Mr Wood said that’s very difficult to do.

“Firstly … genetic selection, selecting cattle on the basis of their emissions,” he said.

“Those that produce a bit less emissions … just keep breeding those, and over time your emissions would go down.”

He added vaccines and a seaweed type product that the cows eat could serve to reduce the amount of methane cows discharge.

“It’s not going to happen any time soon so we have to think what we can do to offset those emissions.”

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Tom Elliott
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