Extreme use of natural resources has had adverse effect on human development and the world as a whole. This has led to global warming and the effects felt in various sectors of development within different economies including biodiversity. Countries have come together to create common environmental policies that aim at controlling the increased level of green house gas emissions. Grazing land is one of the major contributors of carbon to the atmosphere hence requires improvement through good management systems.
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Explanation of the current general situation regarding climate change
Lots of green house gas emissions from Beef industry come direct from operational activities, these contributes some percentage to global warming. Several countries and regions have initiated emissions trading schemes as a policy to help limit the level of emissions of greenhouse gases.
The Australian government uses the Carbon Pollution Reduction scheme policy to help control greenhouse gas emissions. The per capita carbon dioxide emissions in Australia is high and still rising, this is expected to have adverse effect on ecosystem and biodiversity. Failure by the world to mitigate these emissions will lead to reduction in Gross domestic product of major countries (MLA, 2009).
The rate at which the world climate is changing may be a big threat to global businesses and companies. It is believed that companies including Beef industry will be affected by weather impacts and the policies on climate that are geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to cater for the costs on carbon emissions, meat industry may try to project the impact on costs to consumers by charging higher prices on their services. The restrictions imposed by some countries leads to the loss of market share the beef industry because of being considered as large emitters of carbon gases (MLA, 2009).
Briefly describe the industry context to climate change
Meat industry forms part of the agricultural sector from which biological production system occurs resulting in greenhouse gas emissions. The beef industry is one of the largest agricultural industries in Australia making it contribute high percentage of greenhouse gas emissions because of ruminant emissions.
These emissions are attributed to fermentation in cattle, clearing of vegetation through burning and use of fuel energy within the beef farm premises. There is significant percentage of methane emissions from the beef cattle within the ranches, the percentage emitted depends on several factors such as the quality and availability of vegetation grazed upon. Bigger percentage of the country’s land is taken for cattle rearing since it is not suitable to support crop farming (Bray and Willcocks, 2009, p1).
How the Industry could use bottom line reporting to report on how it addresses climate change
The beef industry presents its bottom line on corporate and governance by checking at the legislative controls that helps in lowering carbon position within the industry. The management is concerned with the processes to be implemented that ensure land productivity and environmental gains. The management requires experienced and skilled staff in the middle and senior levels of management who are capable of managing risks associated with considerable changes within the industry (Charmley, Stephens and Kennedy, 2008).
Due to concern, awareness on climate change and focus on the rate of reduction on vegetation clearing, the beef industry has put in place some environmental responsibilities and initiatives that caters for the impact of its operations on biodiversity.
The company determines its environmental bottom line by checking on the number of animals within a specific ranch land and the vegetation clearing rate. There is also the production of biodiesel from tallow that ensures minimization of green house gas emissions (Charmley, Stephens and Kennedy, 2008).
The overall net carbon position of beef industry provides crucial information that is used in both national and international policy making. The industry contributes to economic stability by controlling tree clearing practices. This reduces the government spending on environmental conservation activities hence enough cash towards improvement of agricultural sector (Charmley, Stephens and Kennedy, 2008).
Clearly define the problems that the industry faces in relation to climate change
The industry faces the problem of choosing on the grazing system that would not interfere with soil carbon. There is also the problem on the management of operations that would ensure minimization of green house gas emissions to the atmosphere. The beef industry uses scientific approach to assess on the carbon emission, this makes it difficult for the industry to comply with government standards since the approach do not cater for international policies on regulations.
The variation in climatic conditions causes great changes on the amount of litter biomass. This is dependent on the amount of vegetation cover which is affected by the amount of available rainfall. In drought seasons the industry experiences high amount of litter relative to forage biomass. The clearing of vegetation to create avenue for ranch lands provides potential source of carbon emissions, this is since the vegetation is either burnt or left to decompose.
The industry faces the problem of variation in carbon stock which depends on the condition of climatic changes and the management of grazing fields and use of fire. Climatic changes makes difficult for re-growth to be experienced in cleared woodlands, this affects the feeding habits of the animals since forage is unavailable. The carbon in all the vegetation cleared is ultimately emitted to the atmosphere and presents potential source of greenhouse gases (Bray and Willcocks, 2009, p 24).
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KT Problem Analysis
The beef industry is faced with the issue of managing the soil carbon stocks within its grazing ranch lands. The main contributor to soil carbon is considered to be the condition of the land based on soil properties and climatic factors. The industry currently operates large ranch lands to help cater for the demand of beef meat within the meat industry (Fogler and LeBlanc 2008).
The several activities taking place within the ranch lands contributes to fairly large percentage of green house gas emissions. The processes of clearing off vegetation through burning contribute to the emission of green house gases.
On the other hand Australian government has the target of cutting down huge percentage of greenhouse gases and this makes it to charge higher percentage rates on companies. Beef industry has to strategise on how to develop energy efficient low carbon fuels and also reduce the rate of vegetation clearing in order to concur with the governments carbon Pollution Reduction scheme (CPRS).
The beef industry may try to research on alternative means of grazing that could lower the percentage of soil carbon. Less grazing activities can be practiced through the application of zero grazing.
This will make the beef industry to easily avoid the restrictions imposed by the emissions trading scheme policy, hence operate its businesses freely. The other alternative that the industry can utilize is to cut down on the level of vegetation clearing activities and the use of fuel energy within the ranch lands (Charmley, Stephens and Kennedy, 2008).
Potential problem analysis
Implementation of these strategies may lead to some impact on the Beef industry operational activities. First reducing the rate of woodland clearing may result in reduced rearing of beef cattle hence low sales experienced in beef industry (Bray and Willcocks, 2009, p17).
There is need for deep understanding concerning the impact of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Meat industry should improve their means of managing feed stock in order to minimise emissions, the Ranch land management should also have the capability of protecting vegetation growth and the rate of decomposition of cleared vegetation. The carbon budget requires frequent assessment in order to ascertain on rate of green house gas emissions of every sector.
Bray, S. & Willcocks, J., 2009. Net carbon position of the Queensland beef industry. Queensland Australia. Print.
Charmley, E., Stephens M.L,. & Kennedy P.M., 2008. Predicting livestock productivity and methane emissions in northern Australia: development of a bio-economic modeling approach. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture (48), pp 109–113.
Fogler, H. S. & LeBlanc, S., 2008. Strategies for Creative Problem Solving, Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), 2009. Minimizing the beef industry’s impact on Climate change. Financial review case studies. Web.