Can Australian Agriculture Reduce Emissions and Obtain Food Security?

Claire-Marie attended the UNFCCC forum. She is in her last year at Central Queensland University studying a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Security through distant education in Townsville. 

Abstract

Can Australia reduce excess greenhouse gases and other emissions while increasing food productivity? This paper will investigate the possibility of this claim through determining how Australia is currently performing and how Australia can achieve the climate agenda targets. By improving their approaches towards efficient farming practices and policy recommendations will ensure Australia’s future food security.

Australia is currently on track to achieve the Kyoto Protocol by 2020, however, under the Paris agreement a reduction of 26-28 percent below 2005 levels, 612 MtCO2-e to 441 MtCO2-e, by 2030 deems to be more challenging. Technology, infrastructure, policies, and programs need to be improved with the future development of agriculture relying on the Government to support changes to reduce emissions while increasing food production. However, is it feasible and possible to collaborate with Government and producers to make this happen?

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Quarterly Access Journal: Matthew Sinclair Contributor

Matthew attended the 2014 World Trade Organisation in Geneva where he represented the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business and Economics. As part of the Global Voices Scholarship Matthew researched agricultural trade in the Asia-Pacific Region. His research was published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs journal Quarterly Access. You can read his research here or copy the following URL into your browser http://bit.ly/mattsinclairQA

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Romanticism in the WTO: The voice of the farmer

Lewis attended the 2012 WTO Public Forum in Geneva where he represented The Australian National University. He is studying a Bachelor of Asia-Pacific Studies and also works for The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Abstract 

The World Trade Organization’s current Doha Development Agenda round of multilateral trade-liberalising negotiations has, after eleven years of slow-paced negotiations, reached an impasse. This is in spite of predictions that concluding the round would lead to global economic growth, benefitting both the developed and developing worlds. There are a multiplicity of reasons behind the impasse; however, this paper argues that the major reason for the deadlocked negotiations is the continued agricultural protectionism in much of the developing world which is fueled by overpowered domestic agricultural lobbies. These lobbies, apart from having significant economic influence, are equipped with a natural power over the public: they have access to emotive rhetoric charged with irrational arguments born out of humanity’s emotional responses to agriculture. This is a power which is largely unrecognised in the economic and political discussion surrounding multilateral trade. This paper ultimately supports wider recognition of the power of agricultural rhetoric in order to better rationally address the issues of agriculture in trade.

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Multilateral provisions to alleviate food insecurity

Dorotea attended the 2012 WTO Public Forum in Geneva where she represented Swinburne University of Technology. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce.

Abstract 

Since the time when the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) applied to agriculture and member countries were allowed to use non tariff measures such as subsidies and import quotas1, agricultural trade has come to be ‘the most distorted sector of trade in goods, characterised by very high tariffs and high levels of government support to primary producers’2. The World Trade Organization (WTO) states that the objective for the framework of Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is to move towards market orientation in agricultural trade. Providing developing countries with greater trade access to global food supplies through the use of multilateral trade agreements will encourage sustainable development as they remain reliant on agriculture as a major source of GDP, exports, employment and foreign exchange earnings3. At the same time, overall trade liberalisation in agriculture should also be pursued for the benefit of all member nations in the WTO, including Australia, whose agricultural production is mostly exported with prices closely linked to world prices often affected by distortions caused by agricultural protectionism and subsidisation in key countries4

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Chinese foreign direct investment: Is Australia's food security under threat?

Alexander attended the 2012 WTO Public Forum in Geneva where he represented Griffith University. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws/ International Business and he is also a part of the Griffith Honours College.

Abstract 

This paper examines claims that Chinese foreign direct investment is threatening Australia’s domestic food security. This unsubstantiated hysteria threatens to undermine Australia’s leadership in the pursuit for global food security as well as harm Australia-China trade relations. An examination of foreign ownership within the agricultural sector reveals that Chinese foreign direct investment remains relatively low. Moreover, an analysis of the Foreign Investment Review Board’s safeguards shows that Australia has substantial protection against the purported threat of politically motivated foreign investment. Nonetheless, this paper argues that the Foreign Investment Review Board’s functionality can be enhanced by lowering the monetary thresholds on foreign investment and through the introduction of a foreign land registry. The introduction of these recommendations is considered one way to calm concerns over Chinese foreign investment and preserve Australia’s global food security legitimacy.

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