Australia may only contribute 1.3 % to Carbon Dioxide, but collectively with all the other 'small' emitting countries we combine to make up 41%... I liked Charlie Pickering's segment last night on "The Weekly". https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=295288728074680
(Just a note of clarification- Carbon is often bandied around when people should be saying Carbon dioxide. Carbon is good it has huge water holding capacity and gives our soil microbes food and enables the sol to function well... Carbon Dioxide is a necessary and natural gas, however needs to be in balance)
I am also interested why everyone thinks the government has to 'fix' this... we as individuals make decisions everyday that either reduce or increase our emissions and impact on the environment- some days are better than others.. how we live, what we buy, how much we consume, replace, reuse, recycle- who we buy from, as consumers we have huge capacity to bring companies and brands up to speed with what is acceptable and what is not.
The government policy role needs to enable the change for people to be easier, supported with the carrot not the stick. This includes a transitional pathway from coal to renewables... there is no way Australia can just drop Coal overnight- I am not hearing a strategic transition process from any policy makers, a journey that supports Australian's in making the change aswell.
Farming has been and still some practices are contributors however regenerative farming practices cycle sequest carbon dioxide in the soil, young trees also absorb carbon dioxide and give us oxygen, however as trees get older trees they slow their cycling capacity and actually add to the carbon dioxide issue, when they are dead- old and grey. ( why then is the Qld Govt locking up old trees- instead of enabling producers to manage their timber with silviculture and good timber practices- keeping the timber growing and Carbon Dioxide/ Carbon cycle functioning. .
Here on Picots Farm we have 4.5% ( the average is 1-1.5%) soil carbon thanks to our grazing practices. We plan our grazing- meaning animals stay for a planned period of time in a paddock, based on volume of feed then are moved and don't come back to the first paddock until the grasses are recovered/ ready to graze. Animals are the only tool available to cycle grass into carbon ( nb; grass plants do not defoliate their own leaves- they have to be grazed or mown as we all now with our gardens- if we don't mow it will just keep growing and become rank and grey like on the side of the road- and this grey old grass is sending carbon dioxide into the atmosphere) so by grazing grass we awaken the roots and they send messages to the microbes through the fungi for their orders- if you can visualise a restaurant underground- the plant roots are the customers and the fungi are the waiters and the microbes/ fertility is the kitchen making the order. Soil is the best place to store carbon- most stable and most useful, this is why seasonal environments ( ie most of Australia) need livestock to keep our grassland functioning and soil living and producing nutrient rich plants, which provides animals with nutrients and then to use- it is called nutrient integrity.
Now there is talk about methane- that is a burp that is also natural and necessary gas in our environment- but keeping it in balance and usually is only in excess when animals have poor gut health... we could go into the hard hooves of livestock- damaging the land- can I just say that is a matter of time not numbers and probably worth another post.
Bareground cropping has been reduced with less burning of stubble and improved practices of minimum till, precision ag, and now direct drilling into stubble/pasture and cover cropping - this is an exciting development- We are embarking on a 12 species Cover crop into our flood plain country.. when we get some rain we plan to mulch it in and increase soil cover and carbon.. making this area highly productive. All without artificial chemicals and fertiliser.
Farmers across Australia aren't intentionally damaging land, we need healthy land to make a living. Like the spectrum of most communities- everyone is on their own journey and some are more curious or more willing to try new things... As consumers we can ask good questions about our food and consumables and cause a shift in practice by our choices.