Climate Change & Dairy

  • The science of climate change is clear and has been recognised by governments and industries all around the world. It poses both opportunity and risks to the Australian dairy industry.
  • Dairy Australia is committed to supporting the dairy industry respond to the opportunities and challenges of climate change.
  • Dairy Australia's immediate research, development and extension efforts are described in the Climate Change Strategy 2020-25.

Climate change is threatening key resources that support life on earth, with the impacts of global warming already being felt. This has been recognised by governments and industries all around the world.

Australia is already the world's driest inhabited continent with the most variable climate. Climate change will exacerbate these conditions and the risks to dairy farm profitability. There is evidence that the 2040 scenarios for physical changes to climate are happening now in some dairy regions.

Adaptation is not an optional add-on for businesses and many dairy farmers are already demonstrating their ability to adapt to an increasingly uncertain climate. While at the same time demonstration of dairy's mitigation efforts is non-negotiable and is already becoming a fundamental part of business planning.

Dairy Australia's commitment to supporting the dairy industry address the challenge of climate change

Dairy Australia's Climate Commitment is to Adapt. Preserve. Embed. and Invest. in solutions for dairy farmers to continue to adapt and reduce emissions.

Responding to the risk of climate change includes both addressing exposure to climate change (acute and chronic physical impacts), as well as understanding the transitional costs (financial and legal requirements) required for a business to continue to operate in a global economy which is increasingly trending towards zero-carbon.

Dairy Australia and the wider industry will work on-farm, in manufacturing and in distribution to find and enable smart, sustainable and cost-effective solutions to meet dairy farmer's adaptation challenges as well as industry targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dairy Australia's investments in climate change

For a list of Dairy Australia's active investments in climate change see the Climate Change Strategy - Investment Summary (2021).

Dairy Australia's climate change and energy portfolio is building on a wealth of knowledge and insights developed through previous research studies in this space. The industry is not starting from scratch in terms of responding to climate change. Dairy farmers have been adapting and implementing novel approaches to farming system challenges for decades.

For detail on each of the work areas, click through to the following pages:

  1. Adapt Australian dairy farming systems
  2. Preserve our low emissions intensity
  3. Embed climate action with environmental considerations
  4. Invest in projects, people, promotion and action.

Further climate change resources available to dairy farmers

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