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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
23 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA representing the interests of their own farmers who, through the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP), have also signalled their concerns over the flawed accounting rules. Regrettably, the divisions between the developed and developing countries participating in the climate change talks appeared to be entrenched. These divisions have flowed down from the debate over country emissions reduction targets right through to the discussions on the carbon accounting rules. While there are clear (yet not always reasonable) reasons offered by developing countries as to why they expect developed countries to adopt ambitious emissions reduction targets (for the accounting rules), their reasoning is less understandable. This is especially so bearing in mind that by obstructing change, they are effectively hurting their own farmers while at the same time placing further pressure on future food security for their own people. For instance, the G77 + China (77 developing countries plus China) have specifically stated their objection to developed countries being able to use offsets to meet their targets. This, they claim, is being used as a loophole by developed countries and provides an "easy out" clause for these countries to meet their liabilities under the Kyoto Protocol. This division between developing and developed nations ultimately led to the perceived failure of COP 15. The Copenhagen Accord coming out of the meeting was only a non-legally binding agreement widely described as "limited" or "disappointing". It was brokered at the end of COP 15 by USA, China, India, Brazil, South Africa and some European countries. A deadline has been set for the end of 2010 to get a legally-binding agreement. It is clear that a gap between the end of the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and a further commitment is not wanted. Media has highlighted some of the key areas where agreement could not be reached, and many aspects within the Accord are not yet clear. Agriculture is not specifically mentioned in the Accord and there is insufficient detail to be able to determine whether the impact will be positive in terms of allowing additional time to make a case for the special role of agriculture in food security and adaptation to climate change. The need to enhance agricultural production in order to address food security and to recognise the role of agricultural land use, as well as forestry in bio-sequestration, was made strongly at COP 15 through IFAP, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and others. A work plan for agriculture was requested but this and the details of changes in accounting rules will not be clear until late in 2010. Whether wording around the need for an "economy wide" emissions target will affect individual sectors in domestic policy is not clear. Much was achieved to raise the profile of agriculture and food security within the climate change negotiations and to ensure that the new texts do not penalise countries for emissions from natural processes. However, much work remains to ensure that the right text, with the right messages on agriculture, is approved. Jed Matz Deputy Director Cattle Council of Australia Reporting back home: Jed Matz (CCA), Justin MacDonnell (CCA), Charles McElhone (NFF) and David Crombie (NFF) make use of the thousands of laptops provided free of charge to write their daily report. Charles McElhone, Justin MacDonnell and Beverly Henry (MLA)