Sunday, November 28, 2021

Kelp can help: The Greens

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Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, Greens spokesperson for Agriculture, Media Release, 28 October 2021

Angus Taylor was quoted in The Australian saying, “no affordable, practical and large-scale way exists to reduce [methane from agriculture] other than by culling herd sizes”.

Red seaweed. Photo: Daniel Poloha
Red seaweed. Photo: Daniel Poloha

This is simply negative politics and scaremongering. Exciting opportunities exist to tackle this problem, creating new industries and jobs. We just need to get on with it.

Researchers found cows belched out 82% less methane after putting a small amount of seaweed in their feed for five months. Recent trials of Tasmanian red seaweed – Asparagopsis – show methane can be reduced by up to 98%. 

Greens spokesperson for Agriculture, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said: 

“Agriculture in Australia is responsible for about 13.5% of the country’s emissions, most of them coming in the form of methane produced by burping livestock.  “Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has a goal to reach net zero emissions across the industry by 2030.

“This week I asked MLA at Senate Estimates about the potential for large scale applications of methane reducing seaweed as cattle feed, and they said they hold high hopes for this future.

“Rather than playing unhelpful cynical politics, the Minister should focus on urgently funding more innovation for fledgling businesses like Tasmanian company Sea Forest, that are emerging to solve these problems. These are the industries of the future, and the Minister knows that, but it just doesn’t suit the Liberal Party’s self serving rhetoric.” 

Related story: Meet Jesse Scott, GrainCorp’s Chief Innovation and Growth Officer

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