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The challenge

The red meat industry’s carbon neutral challenge

The Australian red meat and livestock industry has set an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions target [pdf · 3mb] to be carbon neutral by 2030 ('CN30').

Meeting the CN30 target will require a package of management changes, including changes to vegetation management and land use. However, progress towards carbon and natural capital targets and attribution to changes in management practice can be difficult to measure, expensive to implement and difficult to verify.

Natural capital accounting can help the livestock industry monitor its progress, verify its claims and build trust in supply chains.

CSIRO is working with the Australian red meat and livestock industry on the Carbon Neutral Red Meat Industry project. Image: Pixnio ©  Marko Milivojevic photography

Our response

Using a natural capital accounting approach

Natural capital accounting can help with the design, implementation and reporting of natural capital, enabling producers to track and monitor progress against targets and communicate that progress to stakeholders.

In this project we are working with case study livestock property managers to develop natural capital approaches to measure carbon, biodiversity, and other natural capital resources, including considerations of cost and ease of implementation.

Our tools will be used to plan potential pathways to improve these farm resources, which will help deliver on industry emissions targets or be used to access carbon and biodiversity markets.

We are partnering with ANU to assess the production and farm economic impact of adopting practices to enhance carbon and biodiversity. This project forms part of a suite of projects in the Carbon Storage Partnership, working to support the red meat industry to meet its CN30 objective and funded by Meat and Livestock Australia.

The results

Anticipated outcomes

We anticipate that impacts for the industry will include maintaining community support by demonstrating environmental stewardship, and the development of information about income diversification opportunities in ecosystem services markets.

For more information contact Anthony O'Grady, Karel Mokany or Elizabeth Meier.

The Australian red meat and livestock industry has set an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions target. Image: CSIRO Science Images

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