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International focus on climate an opportunity to highlight our industry achievements

10 November 2022

By Jason Strong, Managing Director, MLA

This week, world leaders and policy makers are meeting at the COP27 summit.

The Egyptian coastal city of Sharm El-Sheikh, which is hosting the summit, is a whole world away from the regional towns and farm gates of our industry – in more ways than one.

But the meetings and decisions at COP27 are critically important for the Australian red meat and livestock sector.

The overarching aim of the summit is to arrest the trend in global warming and to chart a path for government policy decisions. For the Australian livestock sector, we must have a voice in the conversation. It is vital that our sector can communicate our climate sustainability journey so far, as well as our plans for the future.

When we really boil the message down, it is simple: Australian red meat is part of the climate solution.

MLA is working with a range of partners to tell our industry story during COP27. Last week, we met with city-based journalists in Sydney to explain the industry’s sustainability story. It is important that we tell our stories in metropolitan areas just as much as we do in regional areas.

Starting this week, we are rolling out a social media campaign around CN30, especially through our Facebook and Instagram channels, supported by content on our Australian Good Meat website.

This campaign will focus on the CN30 goal and share specific industry examples around carbon sequestration, emissions reduction, tree planting, and caring for the environment.

On the afternoon of Friday November 11, we are partnering with Cattle Council to host a webinar on CN30 and climate sustainability in the context of COP27. This webinar will include a presentation from cattle producer Jenny O’Sullivan as well as MLA’s CN30 Manager, Margaret Jewell. We will also hear from the team on the ground at COP27. You can learn more about the webinar here.

At Sharm El-Sheikh, we will have Sam Gill from our Middle East / North Africa office and Edwina Clowes, who works in the team looking after our industry sustainability frameworks with industry.

Sam and Edwina will be partnering with groups like the National Farmers’ Federation to tell our industry story, including a presentation at Adaptation and Agriculture Day on November 12.

Through all these channels, we will be sharing the good news of industry’s journey so far.

Since 2005, our industry has reduced net emissions by almost 60 percent, and halved our contribution to national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This represents the greatest reduction by any sector in Australia’s economy. For an industry that only contributes 10% of the country’s total emissions, this is some serious heavy lifting.

We have plans to go even further. In 2017 our industry set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 and today, we are on track to achieve that. Australian lamb production is already climate neutral we are close to being climate neutral for beef.

The industry’s CN30 plan is targeted to achieve this ambitious goal without compromising livestock numbers, while also accelerating the productivity and profitability of our industry.

With all eyes on COP27, we are using this opportunity to share the story that the Australian red meat sector in Australia sets the gold standard for an industry that proactively improves productivity while reducing our impact on the environment. We are the best example of the solutions; we are not the cause of the problem.