Roadmap for carbon-neutral Aussie meat

12th November 2020 | Eativity editors

The Australian red meat industry’s plan for carbon-neutral beef and lamb has set a clear, achievable and practical path for making Aussie meat the most sustainable in the world.

The CN30 Carbon Neutral by 2030 Roadmap was released by Meat and Livestock Australia earlier this month. Cattle Council of Australia President Tony Hegarty says the roadmap has approached the task from all angles.

“It clearly shows we can make beef carbon-neutral while boosting productivity,” he says. “By 2030 our industry will put out no more carbon than it takes in.”

The plan will see producers cutting emissions, storing carbon and improving management systems. The new roadmap shows that the industry has already made real progress – since 2005, greenhouse gas emissions from the red meat industry have dropped by 57 percent.

“It’s important to recognise that our industry recycles carbon, turning carbon dioxide into pasture first,” Hegarty says. “It’s also important we find the most accurate measure for the warming impact of the beef sector and other biogenic methane industries.”

The red meat and livestock industry currently contributes 10% of all of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Hegarty, Australian red meat is one of just two major sectors that has reduced its carbon footprint since 1990.

“But we know we have to keep going, and this roadmap sets us on course to do it,” he says. “We’re engaging with Australia’s top scientists through the CSIRO and the federal government to make sure we have the technology to do it.”

The roadmap shows that a lot can be achieved with more efficient livestock and grazing practices. Feed additives that cut emissions by up to 80 percent are also not far away, making carbon-neutral beef well within reach.

“The grassfed beef industry also has stewardship of 79 percent of Australia’s agricultural land, putting us in a unique position to be part of the broader solution,” Hegarty says. “Consumers can rest assured; they can trust Aussie beef. We’ll do the right thing by them.”