The Case for a new Climate Metric

Overview

Momentum is growing globally around the concept that methane emissions from livestock are different to CO2 emissions from fossil fuels. Scientists agree that emissions from grazing livestock are part of a natural carbon cycle that emits little more carbon than is taken in by the plants that the cattle graze on. A key international scientist that has been ‘Rethinking Methane’ and its contribution to global warming is Dr Frank Mitloehner of the CLEAR Centre at UC Davis who explains this process in a way that makes enormous amounts of sense. In November 2020, Cattle Australia asked Dr Frank to explain the carbon cycle that exists in livestock production systems to our members and industry leaders. This was followed up with a series of presentations by Dr Frank at Beef 2021 which has further grown interest in this discussion. Cattle Australia has been leading a narrative on alternative climate metrics bringing together industry, government and the scientific community.  The internationally agreed standard metric for reporting of greenhouse gas emissions is known as Global Warming Potential-100 (GWP100) – which compares the global warming impacts of different gases relative to carbon dioxide. GWP100 is widely acknowledged by scientists to have shortcomings when used to measure the warming impact of short-lived GHGs like methane. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas (GHG) than CO2, but it has a shorter atmospheric lifespan (around 12 years), thus its relative climate impact reduces significantly over time. In particular, Cattle Australia has focused on Global Warming Potential-Star (GWP*) model. GWP* has received a positive response from beef industries globally, as it provides a more accurate measure of the behaviour of methane in the atmosphere. Other alternative metrics are also being considered in a comparative study being undertaken by CSIRO on behalf of the industry. The grassfed beef cattle industry kicked off this discussion in Australia with a series of webinars on GWP* in mid-2020 to get the discussion started in the public sphere. Cattle Australia’s primary objective in these discussions has always been to understand our industry’s contribution to global warming in the most accurate way. The beef industry is committed to being part of the solution to climate change and reaching our Carbon Neutral by 2030 target. For more information on Cattle Australia’s climate policies or to request links to the recordings of our webinars please email environment@cattleaustralia.com.au

Prof. Myles Allen Lecture

28 June 2023

Cattle Australia was privileged to be joined by Oxford University Professor Myles Allen, “The Physicist Behind Net Zero” to discuss the different impacts created by CO2 and short-lived greenhouse gasses including biogenic methane which is produced in the beef industry.

Professor Allen is the architect of the GWP* metric, which is designed to fully account for the warming impact of short-lived gasses like biogenic methane.

Trust Aussie Beef Campaign

Media Releases

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Garry Edwards

Managing Director and CEO, Maureen Pastoral Company

Garry was born and raised on a commercial beef cattle property south of Gloucester in New South Wales. Garry has personal cattle production interests in this region today as well as his corporate role as the Managing Director and CEO of AAM, a business that has a significant focus in continuing to expand beyond our cattle production interests in Central West NSW, near Forbes and Bective Station near Tamworth, NSW.

Garry has over 25 years’ experience in large scale livestock production management within the Australian agribusiness sector. His experience spans across a vast array of areas of the agricultural supply chain and includes managing businesses involved in livestock breeding, growing and finishing, financing of agricultural projects, implementation of precision agriculture practices, investigation and implementation of sustainability and innovation initiatives and developing and operating integrated agricultural businesses.

In 2007, Garry founded the company that today is AAM, commencing the development, operation and management of a portfolio of agricultural assets valued at $887 million and he remains the major shareholder of AAM.

Garry has a unique skill set across multiple facets of the grass-fed cattle production supply chain, from production through to finishing, as well as a unique perspective of the challenges facing all grass-fed producers within Australia through his involvement in the modernisation and development of livestock marketing facilities throughout Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

George King

Managing Director, The Whitney Pastoral Co and Manager, "Coombing Park"
George is a seventh generation Australian farmer, currently managing his family property which they have held since 1880. George operates an Angus breeding and finishing operation joining 1,500 cows per year, with a low-cost model turning off steers at feeder weights and direct sales of females.

George has long been on a regenerative agriculture path as it was the only way he could see to renovate their property 25 years ago without employed equity or working capital, which at the time they didn’t have. He continues with this model as it provides outstanding cost containments, continued production and profitability.

George is married with four (4) children, Harry 24, Emma 22, Dave 15 and Tom 13. He also enjoys flying and has his pilot’s license.

George is also a Founding Director of The Wellness House and a Founding Director of ONFARM CO. He has a strong voluntary involvement with his community including as the NSW Rural Fire Services Senior Dept Capt. and Chairman of St Paul’s Carcoar.

Bryce Camm

Grazier, camm agricultual group

Bryce Camm hails from Dalby in Queensland’s Darling Downs region where he oversees his family’s company Camm Agricultural Group; an integrated beef and cropping enterprise with interests across Queensland.

Bryce has been CEO of the group for the past eight years. Prior to that he was the Manager of the group’s award winning Wonga Plains Feedlot for eight years where he oversaw the operation triple in size. Growing up on “Natal Downs” Station in north Queensland Bryce undertook a dual degree in Business Administration and Communications at Bond University and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program as well as the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course.

Bryce is currently the Chairman of Beef Australia Ltd and the Immediate Past President of the Australian Lot Feeders Council, as well as a previous Director of the Red Meat Advisory Council. 

Elke Cleverdon

Owner and Director, Cleverdon Agriculture - Grass Fed Black Angus

Elke is an experienced non-executive director in the agriculture and customer-owned banking sector with a passion for member-centric organisations. She brings a grower perspective, coupled with her genuine drive to elevate the industry through innovation. She was selected to the National Farmers’ Federation ‘Diversity in Ag Leadership’ 2022, among 12 women nationally.

Elke has a broad background in the agricultural industry as a producer and rural financial coach across regional NSW, challenging business models and production systems for growers across a wide range of commodities. Elke has been a joint owner and director of a broadacre family cattle property at Harden, NSW, since 1993. Cleverdon Ag raises and trades black Angus cattle.

Elke brings a wealth of financial, risk management and governance experience. Her current non-executive director roles include Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA), Murrumbidgee Health (NSW Health) and SWS Bank (a regional financial institution in NSW). 

Some of her many strengths include a strong focus on strategy, risk and a triple bottom line while chairing large-scale audit and risk committees.

Elke is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow CPA, and holds a Master of Business Administration focused in marketing, finance, business strategy and leadership. Her critical thinking and business acumen after 16 years’ experience as an executive in customer-owned banking and the past eight years as a Rural Financial Coach, makes her an ideal candidate seeking to advance producers’ long-term best interests in a fair and strong supply chain.

David Foote

Director - Tandarra Partners

Nominated by: Peter Hall, Troy Setter, Bryce Camm, David Hill, Adam Coffey 

For the past 45 years, David has held rural property management, executive and senior management positions across all mainland states in areas of; beef cattle & sheep breeding, growing and lot feeding, meat retailing, small seed growing, irrigated fodder, and the further processing and exporting of primary products such as meat, grain and fodder.

His export experiences which started in 1989 included a role with Stanbroke Pastoral Company to help develop Stanbroke’ s Live cattle export program. Additionally, David managed the integration of Bottle Tree feedlot grain feeding in the production system while developing and launching their now globally recognised Diamantina beef brand.

David has been in a leadership role at the Lee Family’s, Australian Country Choice group of Companies since 1999 and progressed in that time from General Manager Properties & Livestock to Group Managing Director until stepping back in December 2020 from a full time role to a strategic advisory and board role.

Headquartered in Brisbane and employing over 1,400 staff across 42 operations, Australian Country Choice (ACC) operates Australia’s largest vertically integrated beef supply chain; encompassing cattle breeding, cattle growing and feedlotting to supply its integrated food processing facility in Brisbane that incorporates beef slaughter, beef boning, value-adding and case ready beef packing.

ACC’s cattle property portfolio of around 4 million acres in Queensland & NSW encompasses operations from the Barkly Tableland, CQ coalfields, Carnarvon ranges, Augathella, Blackall, Roma, and Moonie districts of Queensland, with a carrying capacity of 300,000 head. of cattle to support the Company’s 3 feedlots.

Additionally, David represents Agricultural & Cattle industry interests in his role as; Non-Government member Australia­ Indonesia Red Meat & Cattle Partnership, member SmartSat CRC, member Cattle Australia -Policy Council, member Australian Meat Industry Council -China & Halal Trade Groups, Chair Workplace Health & Safety Queensland -Rural Industry Sector Standing Committee, Deputy Chair Laguna Bay Pastoral investment committee and Board Member lnventia Genetic Technologies (IGT). 

Away from work David has a small cattle property in the Mt Kilcoy (Qld) district running Charolais & Charbray breeders to the delight of his four grandchildren.

David wishes to continue into a second term to help build a strong and successful Cattle Australia to represent the interest of all cattle producers