AgForce has fired a warning shot at Greenpeace activists, following malicious accusations that Queensland is a “deforestation hotspot”.
As Australia gears up for COP26, the agriculture industry is pledging to do all it can to further reduce CO2 emissions.
However, the same cannot be said for Greenpeace and other non-government organisations, including Mongabay and Global Witness, which are instead spending the lead up to the summit spreading lies about agriculture - rather than making their own positive contributions to the climate debate.
Today AgForce CEO Michael Guerin said he would not allow environmental bandits spouting emotional rhetoric to undo all of agriculture’s good work.
“COP26 represents a seminal moment for Australia and for agriculture,” he said.
“Yet as crunch time approaches, we witness disingenuous individuals sending subjective and misleading questionnaires to multinational companies, fishing for evidence of foul play in our industry that simply doesn’t exist.
“The suggestion from Greenpeace that Queensland is a deforestation hotspot is not only wrong but has come from an institution seemingly hell bent on destroying the agriculture industry and its communities – along with the landscapes our planet so relies on.
“Along with other anti-agriculture organisations these freebooters are engaging in a dirty game and have left us with no choice but to expose them for the bunglers they are.
“With so much at stake environmentally, climatically, socially, and economically, we will fight back against lies and deception, using up-to-date science that tells an undeniably good and positive story.”
In one particularly ignorant email to a global producer, Greenpeace blogger Zach Boren states, “many ecologists have called for improved regulation at both a federal and state level to curb the rate of deforestation in Queensland.”
However, he completely overlooks the Government-funded, credible peer reviewed science that shows the strong and ever-increasing contribution agriculture makes to the environment and the carbon challenges imposed upon producers.
Mr Guerin urged Boren to do more research before attempting to skew the facts.
“You only have to look at Kyoto’s COP3 debacle, which saw the Howard Government hit us with a raft of restrictions, to see that agriculture has been forced to do more than its fair share to limit deforestation,” he said.
“We have gone above and beyond to make a lasting contribution to emissions targets – and will continue to do so.
“So rather than label us climate villains, why not focus on the fact that we are the only industry in the last 20 years to have materially lowered emissions?”
Mr Guerin said as COP26 approached it was important for everyone to realise that Australia - given its unique and vast landscapes, mix of world class agricultural industry, scientific institutions, and depth of leadership - had a unique and historic opportunity at its fingertips.
“We will not be diverted by narrow minded, anti-agriculture groups who selectively and dishonestly use data rather than doing the work to understand the true picture and indeed the opportunity,” he said.
“We will call out malevolence of this kind in Glasgow - and loudly. We cannot and will not have a repeat of COP3.”
For media comments or carbon farming case studies:
AgForce CEO Michael Guerin 0488 002 092
AgForce Media Advisor Hannah Davies 0434 929 523