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Australian red meat industry has recorded 78% reduction in emissions since 2005, report shows

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: A recent report by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) indicates that Australia's red meat industry has reduced its net greenhouse gas emissions by 78% since 2005, primarily due to decreased land clearing and increased vegetation regrowth
• This significant drop in emissions has been attributed to a 40% decrease in industry-wide emissions compared to the previous year

🔭 The context: The decline in emissions is reported based on data from the Australian National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which may significantly underreport land clearing activities, particularly in Queensland
• High rainfall during 2020-21 also boosted carbon sequestration, which is critical but highly uncertain due to variable climate conditions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The reduction in emissions from the red meat sector is crucial for climate change mitigation
• However, the reliance on carbon sequestration through vegetation regrowth is vulnerable to changes in weather patterns and could be unsustainable if not paired with reductions in direct emissions from livestock and other industry practices

⏭️ What's next: The industry aims to reach net zero emissions by 2030, but this target is challenging given the uncertainties in sequestration data and the limitations of current emissions accounting
• Continuous improvements in technology and reductions in direct emissions are necessary to achieve a sustainable net zero status

💬 One quote: "Given the variability of the Australian climate, we anticipate sequestration volumes will retract when conditions trend back towards drier El Niño," said Julia Waite, MLA’s carbon neutral 2030 project manager

📈 One stat: 31 million tonnes - The amount of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent reported by the Australian red meat industry in 2021

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