Farmers demand compensation for land clearing laws to meet Kyoto climate targets
Farmers insist the federal government must compensate landowners who helped Australia meet emissions reduction targets earlier if it is to win industry support for a net zero emissions economy.
- President of the National Farmers’ Federation to meet with federal nationals on Monday
- Fiona Simson says farmers must be compensated for land clearing legislation introduced in 1990s and 2000s
- These policies have helped Australia meet its Kyoto Protocol commitment
The National Party is considering under what conditions it could support the coalition supporting a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 ahead of a global climate summit in Glasgow at the end of the month.
National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) president Fiona Simson will tell the Nationals village hall on Monday that “appropriate remedies must be provided” to farmers affected by land clearing legislation.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, clearing bans were imposed by state governments to reduce emissions by sequestering carbon in vegetation.
The policy has helped Australia meet its international climate commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.
Ms Simson said the legislation took away farmers’ property rights without providing compensation.
In a statement, Simson called the impact of the Kyoto policy a “festering sore, created by statutory theft.”
“If this is done today, landowners would be eligible to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund or a secondary carbon market and receive income for this activity, but not then,” she said.
However, it is not known how many landowners were affected by the land clearing rules, and Ms Simson did not give a financial figure on the remedy the NFF was seeking.
It could be that the NFF wants landowners to be granted carbon credit units for emissions offset by not clearing farmland, which could then be traded under the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund. .
Queensland agricultural lobby group AgForce chairman Georgie Somerset is expected to join Ms Simson for Monday’s briefing.
The Nationals have so far refused to approve a net goal of zero by 2050, however, the NFF initially backed the idea in August last year.
The Minerals Council of Australia has also approved net zero by 2050.
Last week, Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the federal government should become a financier of last resort for the mining industry and create a $ 250 billion loan facility for future projects.
Mr Pitt and some of his national colleagues feared that banks could stop funding the mining sector if Australia commits to a carbon neutral economy by 2050.
However, Nationals deputy chief David Littleproud said it was too early for his colleagues to make demands in exchange for their support for a net zero emissions goal.