Research Cluster to Address Livestock Emissions

AUSTRALIA - Efforts to reduce livestock methane emissions in Australia received a major boost with the launch of a new research cluster drawing on Universities and leading world research organisations including CSIRO.
calendar icon 15 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

A team of Australian and international scientists have teamed up with CSIRO’s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship to help address one of the key contributors of methane emissions – burping livestock.

Australian agriculture directly accounts for 10 per cent of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and a new research collaboration called the Methane Research Cluster aims to reduce that impact.

The collaboration, led by researchers from the University of Melbourne, aims to improve measurement and management of methane emissions for the grazing lands of northern Australia thought to be responsible for five per cent of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Deli Chen, Project Leader from the University of Melbourne, said the Cluster will be able to draw on the skills of world-leading research institutes to accurately measure methane emissions from livestock under real grazing conditions.

“This is a critical step if we are to help agriculture reduce its emissions because if you can’t measure, you can’t mitigate,” Professor Chen said.

CSIRO’s Research Project Leader, Dr Ed Charmley, said: “The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Act sets a long-term goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent of 2000 levels by the year 2050. This research will help identify field-based measurement techniques and protocols that can support management actions and technologies that can help Australia meet such ambitious targets.”

“The Cluster will also develop science that supports methodology development for the Carbon Farming Initiative, an Australian Government program that enables farmers to earn ‘carbon credits’ for undertaking abatement activities on their properties,” Dr Charmley said.

CSIRO’s Flagship Collaboration Fund will fund the Cluster for over three years, with support from several other Australian universities including Macquarie University, RMIT Victoria, University of New England, University of Western Australia, and University of Wollongong as well as researchers at Agriculture and AgriFood Canada and the University of Alberta.

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