What are the long-term cost implications of reducing carbon emissions for red meat processors?

This project set out to evaluate carbon emission opportunities for red meat processors and to minimise the risk of high-cost solutions in the future.

Aligned with the ‘Our Environment’ priority in Red Meat 2030, the Emissions Reduction Pathways and Opportunities report evaluated the likely cost implications, under three different greenhouse gas emission pathways:

This project set out to evaluate carbon emission opportunities for red meat processors and to minimise the risk of high-cost solutions in the future.

Aligned with the ‘Our Environment’ priority in Red Meat 2030, the Emissions Reduction Pathways and Opportunities report evaluated the likely cost implications, under three different emission reduction policy scenarios:

1. Australia’s current national emission reduction targets

2. The Paris Goals – based on 1.5-2°C temperature rage in the Paris Agreement, this targets 63% reduction from 2005 levels

3. The red meat industry’s carbon neutral goal – CN2030

The red meat processing sector makes up 2% of the red meat industry’s emissions. Processors have already taken steps to reduce their carbon emissions, with around 44% directly produced on site and 56% indirectly generated through the purchase and use of electricity. Processors recognise they cannot rely on maintaining past performance and want to avoid potentially costly future emission reduction pressures.

The research found that the red meat processing sector can achieve the current policy emissions targets, mainly through energy efficiency, but this leaves the industry at risk of more disruptive emission reduction requirements after 2030.

In contrast, far more action is required to achieve the Paris Goals and Carbon Neutral by 2030 scenarios.

The options for reducing emissions after implementing energy efficiency are limited to renewable thermal and electricity generation projects.

Implementing a corporate renewable power purchase agreement with an electricity retailer, either individually or part of a buyers’ group could also be a cost-effective option.

The findings:

_Large-scale red meat processing plants have a better opportunity to reduce carbon emissions than small-
scale processors, where economies of scale can be applied
_Opportunities for assisting small-scale processors could include aggregation of buying power for
renewable energy sources (such as Power Purchase Agreements)
_Thermal energy use produces a higher proportion of emissions for large processors, so assistance for large processors could focus on transitioning from natural gas, for example through bio-gas capture and reuse.
_Support and promote the inclusion of biomass in fuel replacement in energy saving schemes and programs which provide funding to assist in the adoption of new process heat technologies, such as heat pumps.
_Strategic policy research targeting the energy “trilemma”  

What should processors do now?

  1. Measure and track your emissions so you can manage them in the future
  2. Prioritise which emissions to focus on first (AMPC tools can help you do this)
  3. Prepare for changes – monitor renewable energy options
  4. Develop a long-term plan to safe-guard against future disruptive policy changes
  5. Leverage APMC as a centre for knowledge sharing

Contact AMPC for help and advice on which technologies are right for you.

admin@ampc.com.au (02) 8908 5500
Read more here.

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