Australia’s National Soil Advocate, Chair of Soils For Life and former Governor General Major General Michael Jeffery, says last night’s “4 Corners” program on climate change neglected an important element in the debate about solutions to Australia’s annual emissions of 550 million tonnes of CO2.

General Jeffery said the focus on curbing emissions, and who should or should not pay, ignored the fact that Australia’s soils represented our largest carbon sink.

“We have the capacity to substantially reduce our overall emissions by improving the soil health of 470 million hectares of our agricultural landscape”, General Jeffery said.

Australia’s former Chief Scientist, Professor Robin Batterham, estimates that healthy soils have the capacity to absorb, like a sponge, at least sufficient CO2 to meet our Paris Agreement target, and accordingly we should be pursuing with the utmost vigour, a cheap, accurate, broad acre soil carbon measurement system”.

“It is estimated that, in our Australian agricultural landscapes, our soil carbon levels have decreased from a healthy 4%-5% at settlement to around 1% today”.

“Our Soils For Life case studies have shown that regenerative farmers can dramatically increase their soil carbon levels by drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere, through the application of integrated soil, water, plant and animal management techniques”.

“In the process, farmers who increase their carbon levels can earn extra income through the growing carbon credits market”.

“It is disappointing that this important contribution to climate change adjustment and a sensible transitional energy policy has been largely ignored in the current emissions debate”.

Soils for Life programs demonstrate proven solutions in regenerative landscape management to increase the natural capital value of the Australian landscape – rural, regional and urban.

For more information contact: Niree Creed, Media, Soils For Life, 0418625595

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