Understanding and managing impacts of climate change in relation to government policy, regulation and energy efficiency
Federal Government policies and regulations in relation to climate change, while intended to have a positive effect on the nation’s environmental performance, may at the same time represent a threat to the Australian vegetable industry. This review identifies the potential threats, as well as opportunities, that relate to the current regulatory framework. The report responds to the following questions on how the vegetable industry may be affected, both directly and indirectly, by the current regulations pertaining to climate change and its management: 1. Why are we managing greenhouse gas emissions? 2. How would a change in government impact the vegetable industry? 3. Why is a price being put on carbon and how will it be determined? 4. What are the vegetable industry’s liabilities and opportunities? 5. Do I have to report my emissions? 6. How do I generate carbon credits? 7. How will the carbon price affect my input costs? Energy efficiency is one of those practices that should be adopted irrespective of your views on climate change. You will still be paying electricity and fuel bills so reducing costs wherever possible makes good economic sense. Energy efficiencies are considered under three broad headings in this report: 1. Pumps and irrigation efficiencies. 2. Reducing cooling costs. 3. On-farm power generation. The Australian vegetable industry is in a strong position to deal effectively with climate change. The industry has excellent climate change credentials, is a low emitter of greenhouse gases on a productivity basis, and has one of the lowest carbon and water footprints of any food producer. Vegetable growers also have greater capacity to adapt to change than most other rural industries. The threats, however, are serious, and the industry should not be complacent. The viability of vegetable production can be affected either by the physical impacts of a changing climate, as outlined in the companion report, or by government policies aimed at addressing climate issues.