There’s fundamental piece missing – but opportunity

16 January 2024. Michael Guerin, AgForce CEO.

In November last year, the Queensland government updated its Queensland Jobs Plan Roadmap with a revised Energy Plan.

Its impressive, with the objective of meeting Net Zero 2050 targets by advancing a multi-strategy approach including visionary ideas such as Renewable Energy Zones, Super Grid Technology, Bioenergy Technology and Hydrogen Hubs.

The concern inherent in all this of course, is the potential for resumption of agricultural land to accommodate the new technology. Add to that the potential bureaucratic double whammy of Federal Government considerations to ‘return’ up to 30% of our land to nature (or so-called ‘Nature Repair’). The trend is global, with for example the EU also planning to ‘return’ an additional 10% of land to nature.

So, we would have less land for producing food, whilst at the same time forecasting a potential worldwide population of more than 9.8 billion people by 2050, bringing with it the need for a significant lift in food production.

What’s missing is the food industry being genuinely included in these important conversations about our collective future and the role Agriculture can play in that future.

Therein lies the opportunity.

Whilst international frameworks are years behind where they need to be and include things like the Taskforce for Nature Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), what an opportunity if we could accelerate that work as a whole community.

The opportunity starts with knowing the value of your Natural Capital at property level, the different elements of it and how to prioritise enhancing it over time to lift production and environmental results. Producers look after a majority of Australia’s landscapes and given the right policy settings can lift production and environmental outcomes concurrently.

AgForce has designed AgCarE to give producers a true understanding of their start point. Early monetisation of some elements of Natural Capital such as carbon and biodiversity start to help, but it’s about much more than carbon and offsets.

The opportunity – indeed the absolute necessity – is for a strong step change, instead of looking back with disappointment at what we could have done for our planet and community.

The Federal Government last Friday announced its policy decisions related to Australia’s climate-related financial disclosure requirements. Consultation closes on 9 February 2024 and AgForce will be providing a comprehensive submission – there is a lot at stake.

/Public Release. View in full here.