FARMLANDS: Food crops or fuel crops?

MONDAY BZE Radio Mon 5-6pm August 29th,  2016

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Winner of The Royal Society Prize for science writing, Gaia Vince (author of Adventures in the Anthropocene), takes us round the world in search of the best farming practices in the Anthropocene. Indian farmers leading with water? Food waste contributing to climate change?

In "Rethinking Dairy" we look at alternatives to needing so much milk. Improvements for the cows, calves, farmers and consumers are all ahead as we take climate seriously. 

A panel discussion courtesy of 3CR's Freedom of Species show, featuring Philip WollenDr Deidre Wicks, dairy farmer Vicki Jones, and vegan restauranteur Mo Wyse.

Further Reading:Amazing news – the Northern Territory Labor party was swept to power in the Territory election yesterday on a promise to put a moratorium on risky shale gas fracking.

MONDAY BZE Radio Mon 5-6pm
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Byron Bay first regional Australian city to commit to zero emissions

By Oliver Milman. The Guardian, March 9 2015

Byron shire says it aims to be a 'zero emissions community' within 10 years by upgrading public transport, improving agriculture and retrofitting buildings. 

Byron Bay has become the first regional Australian city to commit to cutting its carbon emissions to zero. Photograph: Byron At Byron/AAP

Byron Bay has become the first place in Australia outside the major cities to commit to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to zero over the next 10 years.

Byron shire aims to lead Australia on zero emissions community plan

By Giles Parkinson. RenewEconomy, March 9 2015

Byron Shire – in the northern rivers region of New South Wales – is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years.

The push by Byron mayor Simon Richardson means that Byron Bay will be the first town or council in Australia to adopt the master-plan created several years ago by the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions.

The idea is to dovetail the plan with other local initiatives, including a stream of community-based renewable energy developments, the creation of the country’s first community energy retailer, and the proliferation of rooftop solar at the household and business level.


Growing a better climate for farmers

A new discussion paper released today by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) shows how Australian farmers and foresters, two groups most vulnerable to climate change, can shift from having a negative to a positive impact on climate change.

“Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry” a joint project between BZE and The University of Melbourne's Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute provides a way for Australian farmers to reduce carbon pollution, and bring young people back to regional centres with new employment opportunities.

“Changing land use practices will slash carbon pollution and can provide an alternative income stream for farmers” said Beyond Zero Emissions CEO Stephen Bygrave.  

"The frequency and severity of the extreme weather we used to see were nothing compared to what we've seen in the past decade,” said John Pettigrew, former director of SPC Ltd. and current President of the Goulburn Valley Environment Group.

"Our farmers, given time, can adapt to changing conditions. We can reduce carbon emissions on-farm, move towards sustainable farming systems and even play a major role in producing renewable energy for our urban centres," said Mr Pettigrew.

The land use sector is one of the highest carbon polluting sectors of Australia’s economy - emissions may even be as high as 54% of total national emissions.

“Making changes to land management practices and technologies such as savannah burning, clearfell logging and land clearing for agriculture can turn that around,” said report researcher Andrew Longmire.

“Carbon storage in Australian native forests is underestimated by a factor of up to four or five, meaning that logging is having a much higher impact on the climate than previously recognised. Research has shown the native forests of south-east Australia can sequester 7,500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide if left to recover from clearfell logging.  That’s equivalent to more than 10 years of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions” said Mr Bygrave.

“As the country braces for worsening drought and bushfires this summer, BZE is reaching out to farmers and other landholders to tackle climate change in a way that maximises the productivity and the health of their land, and breathes life back into their communities” said Mr Bygrave.

“Zero Carbon Australia Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry” is available on our website at:  High resolution images from the report can be downloaded at:

John Pettigrew and Stephen Bygrave are available for interview.

Media contact:

Genevieve Wauchope     0431 465 952

Election Edition


Welcome to Beyond Zero's Election Edition, where Vivien Langford talks to the three major political parties about their policies on climate change.

Greg Hunt, Liberal MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change Action, Environment and Heritage

Yvette D'Ath, Labour MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and

Christine Milne, Greens senator, leader of the Australian Greens.

National Food Plan blind to biggest threat: climate change

This week’s National Food Plan ignores the serious threat to agriculture posed by climate change. Yet research shows that an expanded Carbon Farming Initiative could have major benefits in combating climate change.

Andrew Longmire, research fellow with Beyond Zero Emissions, said, “The Federal Government’s National Food Plan released this week downplays the impact of climate change on Australian agriculture and the large impact of agriculture on climate. The Plan relies on the $1b Clean Energy Future Plan for mitigation and adaptation in agriculture, which is not nearly enough.”

“Revenue generated under the Clean Energy Future Plan is paid back to carbon intensive industries. These and other resources would be better spent improving the resilience of our food production systems and advancing sustainability of farming. Our national food plan missed this opportunity."

Women of Africa

Tonight we look at the faces of climate change in Africa. The green Belt Movement, facing famine and adapting to capricious weather.

Interviews are with:
     · Ndungi Wamungai, a tribute to Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Wangari Maathai.

     · Kelly Dent of Oxfam projects.

To donate to Oxfam’s GROW appeal go to

     · Rosaline Presence (Project Co-ordinator), Gertruida Baartman (Chair of Agro-Dynamic Co-OP) and Collette Soloman (Deputy Director) from the Women on Farms Project from South Africa from The Women on Farms project in South Africa

     · Dr Clara Van Gulik from Medecins sans frontier who has been on seven missions in Africa.

Medecins sans frontiers

Drew Hutton, Fiona Simson, Sharyn Munro and Craig Shaw

Beyond zero Emissions Radio- The only full hour of climate change solutions brings you: COUNTRY AND CITY, UNITED WE STAND. PROTECT OUR COUNTRY PROTECT OUR LAND

Join us as we revisit the May1st Rally in Sydney of country and city people against coal and gas mining. This is something unprecedented. Country women’s association members, who have never protested in the city before, come to tell us that the issue of fossil fuel mining ravishing the food bowl is “more that tea and scones”. This issue is “bigger than politics. It’s a whole community issue”.

We interview Drew Hutton from “Lock the gate alliance”,Fiona Simson President of the NSW farmers’ Association, Sharyn Munro author of “Rich Land- Waste land” and Craig Shaw from the Bylong Valley Protection association”. With climate change solutions in mind, listen in and please pass on this invitation to your friends next Monday.

Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) 2020 Land Use plan program

Bushfires, black soot, glaciers, deforestation. How do they affect the climate and what are the solutions?
BZE guest programmer Andrew Longmire interviews Dr Chris Taylor who is a Melbourne University researcher for the Zero Carbon Australia (ZCA) 2020 Land Use plan.

BZE interview Pisay Lee, Simon Cunich and Dr Coral Wynter about how climate change is affecting food security in developing countries

This week's show takes us to Cambodia and Venezuela. We look at how climate change is affecting poorer countries and the ways in which they are making plans for their food security.

BZE's Vivien Langford speaks to Pisay Lee; a community worker from Cambodia, Simon Cunich; film maker and Dr Coral Wynter, biochemist and author.

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