Australia's peak farming body have set a target for carbon neutral farming by 2030 and are planning on using the Federal Government's Climate Solution Fund as one method to get there without hurting farmers hip pockets.
Speaking at the Australian Farm Institute's annual conference, themed Farming in a Risky Climate, National Farmers Federation chief executive officer Tony Mahar said the Climate Solution Fund, formerly known as the Emissions Reduction Fund, could give farmers an income stream for managing their land.
"This fund we think can change the game, we are talking about it being a new Landcare," he said.
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"A system that will recognise and reward and put a value on some of the systems, services and land management processes that farmers undertake every day, every year, and have done for decades."
However Mr Mahar said while NFF had asked the government to commit $1 billion towards the fund, the current budget commitment for this year sits at $30 million, which would be used to pilot a biodiversity stewardship program.
"We will use that $30m to do some serious research and build serious case studies to develop a system that will deliver ecosystem service payments to farmers across the country," he said.
"We want to work towards a carbon neutrality by 2030 and we want to have 50 per cent renewable's by 2030.
"These are pretty stretch targets, they are not going to happen by accident, they are going to take a lot of work and they are going to take collective action by the entire industry."
Mr Mahar said along with further funding for the Climate Solutions Fund, the organisation still maintained the need for a $1b Ecosystems Services Fund aimed at rewarding farmers for environmental management.
"That would help enable farmers to manage their risk and have diversified income and help drive the future of the industry," he said.
"To build that connection between environmental services, land management and all the things we know farmers do every day, but is not being recognised and rewarded and not putting dollars in farmers pockets."
Mr Maher said agriculture had a responsibility to enter the debate about how best to mitigate climate change.
"NFF has a very clear climate change policy, we've got an energy policy and we have an electricity policy," he said.
"Those that show up get to shape up, we can criticise from the sidelines or we can be in the debate."