20 Oct 2022


Land and vegetation management opportunities in Queensland

The Queensland beef industry is an important part of both Australia’s economy and emissions profile, as the state’s largest agricultural export and largest source of agricultural emissions.The area of land having trees planted on it is increasing across Australia due to regenerative grazing, carbon farming and land restoration. However in Queensland, significant areas of landclearing are occurring which is attributed to the development of livestock pasture.

The beef industry has significant scope to contribute to Queensland’s and Australia’s emissions reduction targets by further reducing the loss of mature forests while further expanding the area of land being regrown with natural forest. Consumer preferences, trade regulations and market signals will continue to drive the transformation of the beef industry by demanding not only carbon-neutral products but a deforestation-free and nature-positive beef industry.

Commissioned by WWF-Australia, this report presents EY’s analysis of decarbonisation pathways for the beef industry in Queensland through reducing deforestation and retaining more forests that could generate billions of dollars in income through carbon and biodiversity incentives.

The most promising pathway to decarbonise Queensland’s beef industry is through improved vegetation outcomes on farms, which will contribute to the red meat sector’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2030 and help reduce forest loss. While market mechanisms and emerging natural capital markets are likely to play a key role in reducing emissions and landclearing, this report highlights that strengthening vegetation management laws is also a key lever.

WWF-Australia commissioned four separate reports exploring decarbonisation pathways for the Queensland beef industry. EY built on the first three reports to identify decarbonisation pathways. 

These reports are:

  • Modelling pathways to a carbon-neutral Queensland beef sector through policy and investment to drive the transition from deforestation to reforestation – University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  • Predicting abatement potential in Queensland beef-producing regions – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), which modelled land carbon scenarios as inputs to the UNSW report
  • Consequences for Australian emissions of landclearing in Queensland – The University of Queensland (UQ)
  • Regulatory market levers to support Queensland’s beef industry towards its 2030 carbon-neutral target – EY

Download the report:

Supporting Documents: