Agriculture's 15.7pc of greenhouse gases

Agriculture was responsible for 15.7 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, according to recent figures from the Australian Greenhouse Office.

This percentage equates to 87.9 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent.

The level is almost unchanged from 1990 and excludes the estimated six per cent of CO2-e emitted by the land use change and forestry sector.

Within the agriculture sector, the greatest source of emissions - about 60pc - is methane emitted from the rumen of livestock (see table).

Emissions from agricultural soils arising from soil management, cultivation and fertiliser use are also significant.

The Australian Farm Institute’s Mick Keogh says the only way the NSW Government could reach its target of a 60pc cut in emissions by 2050 is by reducing emissions from both livestock and soils.

See Keogh, M. (2007), The New Challenge for Australian Agriculture: How do you muster a paddock of carbon? Australian Farm Institute, Surry Hills, Australia.

Methane from livestock makes up 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Agriculture was responsible for 15.7pc of emissions in 2005.

Greenhouse emissions graph