The NSW Irrigators’ Council has today made an historic commitment to aim for carbon
neutrality of the NSW irrigation industry by 2030.
The aspirational target, voted on at today’s NSWIC General Meeting, comes as industry groups
representing diverse sectors across Australia continue to urge Governments to wake up to the
economic risks of climate inaction.
“We get the science, we get what has to happen, so we’re just going to get on with it and do our
bit,” said CEO Claire Miller.
The NSW Irrigators’ Council also voted to support Australia reaching net zero emissions by
2050, but that this target should be achieved ‘preferably earlier’.
“The irrigation sector is on the frontline of climate change, but is not a major contributor to the
cause,” said Ms Miller. “We need to see all sectors across the economy pulling their weight to
achieve national net zero.”
The industry will work with research and development organisations and partners to develop a
carbon neutrality roadmap, but government investment is needed to support the transition.
“The environmental reasons to get serious about climate change action speak for themselves,
but let’s talk about the economic reasons, too,” Ms Miller said
The economy of the very near future will demand and expect nations to demonstrate their
commitment to reducing emissions. To remain globally competitive, our leaders must
demonstrate Australia is doing our bit.
It’s only a matter of time. We are already seeing the shift, with the EU recently warning Australia
may face carbon tariffs if it does not commit to strong 2030 targets.
Irrigated agriculture is on the frontline of climate change impacts. Irrigators are the last to be
allocated water after towns and rivers, and the first to have the tap turned off when rivers and
dams start running low.
With inflows have already nearly halving in the Murray-Darling Basin since 2000, food and fibre
production is suffering as less and less water is left over to be allocated for irrigation.
NSWIC will be shortly publishing a report on the impacts of climate change on irrigated
agriculture in NSW, including ways we want to, and need to be, part of the climate solution.
Read the full NSWIC Climate Change Position Statement [HERE].