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Livestock sustainability story hits the world stage at COP28

08 December 2023

The Australian livestock sector’s progress and achievements in climate sustainability is being put into the global spotlight at the COP28 summit in Dubai this week.

The annual COP (‘conference of the parties’) summit is a key international forum that discusses key issues related to climate change mitigation.

The Australian red meat and livestock sector participated in the conversation, including presentations on the flagship climate sustainability program CN30 (carbon neutral by 2030).

CN30 Project Manager, Julia Waite, is currently attending the summit and said there was very strong interest from global stakeholders in the leadership and innovation being shown by the Australian livestock sector.

“The Australia livestock industry, in delivering on its CN30 commitment, has made significant investments through collaborative partnerships in new technologies and practice change to increase the efficiency and productivity of the Australian livestock sector,” Ms Waite said. “This includes improved land management such as the sequestration of carbon in soils and planting trees, development and adoption of feed additives, and new livestock breeding techniques and strategies.

“The session at COP28 was an opportunity to acknowledge that while livestock make a contribution to global emissions, our industry is part of the climate solution – while also playing a critically important role for global nutrition and food security.”

Ms Waite was joined at COP28 by other representatives talking about the Australian livestock sector, including Head of Environment and Sustainability at AA Co, Naomi Wilson, and CSIRO Team Leader for Northern Cattle Production, Dr Stuart Denman.

“There was strong interest in solutions, with recognition that global challenges need local solutions,” she said. “This is exactly what CN30 is about – finding innovative solutions through research, development and adoption that have practical implications for livestock producers. CN30 is about ensuring our sustainability gains are very much focused on productivity and profitability as well.”

MLA has invested over $180 million into CN30, including investment from government and commercial partners. To date, industry has reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions by 65% since 2005. MLA has worked closely with the Australian Government in raising the profile of the Australian livestock sector at COP for the second year running, highlighting the importance of the industry and its performance in delivering food security while mitigating climate impacts.