EC recognises canola’s greenhouse benefits

Rural Business Oct. 31, 2023

New analysis from CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has led to the European Commission’s recognition of the Australian canola industry’s low-emissions credentials for the second time, enabling local canola growers continued access to lucrative international markets.

Australia is a major supplier of canola to the European Union (EU) biodiesel market, with over 1.8 million tonnes exported annually to European countries.

CSIRO’s report, Greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of canola oilseed in Australia, looked at the footprint of Australian canola growing at every stage, from fertilisers to pesticide use and found it met the European Commission’s greenhouse gas (GHG) savings targets for biofuels entering the EU transportation fuel market.

CSIRO scientists Dr Xue-Rong Zhou and Dr Matt Nelson are at the forefront of canola innovation.

Speaking at an international canola conference in Sydney, CSIRO’s Dr Maartje Sevenster said the report, now approved by the European Commission, gives EU biofuel producers the certainty that they can source canola from Australia and still meet the GHG savings target.

“This demonstrates that the emissions of Australia’s canola industry are well below the default allowing Australian canola growers to maintain access to important EU markets,” Dr Sevenster said.

“To secure this ongoing certainty for our growers, we needed to demonstrate once again that canola can be grown at a low enough carbon footprint so that once all processes of shipping and refining are added, the final product can be delivered within the target emissions range.

“From 2 October this year, Australian canola will be used in European biofuels with the updated carbon footprint results.”

CEO of the Australian Oilseeds Federation Nick Goddard welcomed the news and said it was another boost for Australia’s canola industry, now the country’s second most valuable grain crop after wheat.

“This shows our canola farmers are leading the way in demonstrating solid environmental standards and social licence to operate,” he said.

“Australia remains one of only a few non-European countries that continue to demonstrate low GHG emissions for canola production globally.”

The report, commissioned by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, is the second prepared by CSIRO supporting the competitiveness of the Australian canola industry in the European biofuel market.

The first report was approved by the European Commission in 2017.

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