Count them in!

Published: Monday 31 May 2004

The largest farmers' group in Australia has decided to rally around the Kyoto Protocol -- the international treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The Western Australian Farmers Federation will lobby with the federal government to ratify the protocol. This despite Australia giving the issue a wide berth since the us rejected the pact a few years ago.

"From an agricultural perspective a warmer climate, lower rainfall and greater evaporation, plus more extreme climatic events will have a direct impact on us. Accompanying this will be higher insurance premiums, the need to change some crop varieties to adapt to new conditions and, in other situations, complete change of enterprise," said Garry English of the federation. English averred that ratifying the protocol would not cost Australia anything, since the country's emissions were within its Kyoto target. On the contrary, steps like on-farm changes in land management to reduce water table recharge, containing the spread of salinity and preventing wind erosion would benefit from access to carbon trading.

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