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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2008
page 56 C aTTL e COUNCIL OF a USTR a LI a Y ea RBOOK 2008 at a time of increased competition for global food supplies, government policy should not artificially drive down agricultural output. Instead, policies should be geared towards encouraging increased production from low emission farm systems, like those in australia. This would better serve the interests of the world community, in its efforts to reduce total global emissions. given appropriate and equitable policy settings, australian farmers can make a genuine difference in overcoming the challenges presented by climate change – aided by their unsurpassed ability to adapt, achieving leading productivity growth (3.8% per year over the past 20 years) at the same time as pioneering new environmentally-sustainable farm systems. Farmers are willing to do their fair share in the future, too. But it’s about time farming was given the credit and recognition it deserves. as a trade-exposed sector with a very sensitive cost base, the implications, if the policy settings to reduce emissions are disproportionally skewed against the farm sector, will be dire. at present, the existing international greenhouse accounting rules are heavily skewed against agriculture – something that must be taken up by the australian government. aBaRe’s December 2007 dire predictions for australia if we fail to proactively deal with a changing climate underscore what we’ve said for years... there must be appropriate and equitable action to reduce the risks associated with increased climatic variability or adverse climatic changes. This is in farmers’ interests and the national interest. Farmers are willing to do their fair share in the future, too. But it’s about time farming was given the credit and recognition it deserves.