CEFC, the Australia government-owned clean energy finance corporation, has backed Macquarie Asset Management’s Paraway Pastoral Company with a A$75m (€52m) commitment.

The CEFC commitment will see Paraway aim to reduce its methane intensity by at least 30% by 2030, aligned with the principles of the Global Methane Pledge.

Paraway operates 28 pastoral and cropping farms over more than 4.5m hectares across Australia, and has capacity to run more than 220,000 cattle and 250,000 sheep, as well as a mixture of dryland and irrigated cropping.

CEFC CEO, Ian Learmonth, said: “The agriculture sector is a vital part of the Australian economy and critical to our efforts to feed the nation and the world.

“As an emissions-intensive industry that contributes significantly to Australia’s carbon footprint, we must redouble our efforts to help farmers do their important work sustainably.”

Cutting methane and on-farm emissions is vital to ensuring Australian livestock producers are on a level playing field with other big meat-producing nations, who are also lifting their focus on emissions,” he added.

Paraway CEO, Harvey Gaynor, said: “Productivity, safety and sustainability all go hand in hand, and pursuing new methods of sustainable production in Australian agriculture is a core principle of our approach.”

Coupled with the fact that the red meat industry is a custodian to around half of Australia’s land mass, addressing methane in the agricultural sector presents an enormous and unique opportunity to make a substantial contribution to Australia’s net zero transition, he said.

Across Australia, livestock is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after the energy and transport sectors, and remains the nation’s predominant source of methane emissions.

To read the latest edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.