Australian agriculture’s contribution
Australia’s overall greenhouse gas emissions come from energy use, agriculture, other land use such as deforestation, industrial processes and waste.
Farming systems produce greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Nearly 15% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, and of that amount, 67.4% is methane from ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle.2
- Carbon dioxide is emitted from farms as a result of land clearing, energy use (burning fossil fuels) and loss of soil carbon from tillage and pasture management.
- Methane is created by the digestion of cellulose in the rumens of grazing animals and is released through burping.
- Nitrous oxide is released from soils, through disturbance, nitrogen fertilisers, urine and dung.
Along with other industries that emit greenhouse gases, Australian agriculture needs to respond to the challenge of reducing its emissions. The Young Carbon Farmers project aims to show how this can be done, and the potential benefits. Head over to the carbon farming section of the website for more information.
- Excludes land use. Data source: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT) Version 8.0 (Washington DC World Resources Institute, 2010). Source – http://www.dfat.gov.au/issues/climate-change/
- National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, May 2010
- Source: Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Australia’s Emission Projections 2010