Climate change and the Australian agricultural sector

Climate change and the Australian agricultural sector

4 December 2008

© Commonwealth of Australia 2008
ISBN 978-1-74229-029-4

View the report as a single document - (PDF 579KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Members of the Committee (PDF 106KB)
Abbreviations (PDF 111KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 123KB)

Terms of reference
Conduct of the Inquiry
The committee’s final report
Note on references

Chapter 2 - The impacts of climate change for the Australian agricultural sector (PDF 247KB)

The Australian agricultural sector
   Composition of the sector
   Vulnerability of the Australian agricultural sector to climate change
The limitations of predicting the impacts of climate change
Climatic impacts of climate change
   Water resources
      Implications of reduced water availability
      The relationship between rainfall and run-off
      Sustainable Water Policies
   Higher temperatures
   Extreme climatic events
   Rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels
   Pests, disease and weeds
      Distribution and pathogenicity of pests and diseases
      Weed distribution and management
Non-climatic impacts of climate change
   Rural communities
   Biodiversity in the Australian landscape
   Consumer expectations

Chapter 3 - Challenges and opportunities for current and future farm enterprises (PDF 262KB)

Adapting to climate change
   Adapting current farming enterprises to changing climate conditions
      Increasing water use efficiency
      Selecting cultivars, species and breeds to suit changing climate
      Moving production as climate shifts
   Resilient farming systems
      Perennial cropping and fodder shrubs
   Diversifying agricultural enterprises
      Other diversification options
Mitigating and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions
   Greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector
   Mitigating agricultural emissions
   Soil Carbon Sequestration
   Alternative energy sources
      Other forms of alternative energy generation
Committee view

Chapter 4 - The impact of an emissions trading scheme for the Australian agricultural sector (PDF 201KB)

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
Accounting for greenhouse gas emissions and removals
   The Kyoto Protocol accounting framework
   Implications of an emissions trading scheme for agriculture
   Implications of an emissions trading scheme for the forestry sector
Committee view

Chapter 5 - A national climate change strategy to assist the Australian agricultural sector adapt to climate change (PDF 223KB)

Current initiatives
   Australian Climate Change Science Program
   Greenhouse Action in Regional Australia
   Managing Climate Variability Program
   National Climate Change Adaptation Framework
   National Agriculture and Climate Change Action Plan 2006-2009
   National Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries
   Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research
   Other initiatives
   Awareness of current initiatives
Future initiatives
   Australia’s Farming Future
   COAG Working Group on Climate Change and Water
What should be included in a national strategy?
   Water policy
   The development of a database of natural resource information
   Development and management of biosecurity policy
   Compliance with international obligations
   Other initiatives
Committee view

Appendix 1 - List of Submissions (PDF 83KB)
Appendix 2 - Witnesses who appeared before the Committee at the Public Hearings (PDF 109KB)


For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3511
Fax: +61 2 6277 5811