SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s red meat industry says it’s on target to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and has reduced its emissions by almost 60 per cent since 2005.

In an address to the Farm Writers Association in Sydney, the head of Meat and Livestock Australia Jason Strong said his industry had made the greatest reduction of any sector in the Australian economy by more than halving its national greenhouse gas emissions.

The preliminary data, which was released on Friday, is expected to be confirmed in May when a more detailed report is delivered by the CSIRO.

The meat and livestock industry had previously reported a 53 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, which now sits at 57 per cent.

“It’s great progress and supports the industry’s ambitious targets,” Mr Strong told AAP.

“The progress that’s been made by the industry to date supports our enthusiasm to be climate neutral by 2030.”

But he conceded there was still work to be done and wouldn’t commit to bringing the deadline forward.

MLA figures show around 50 per cent of Australia’s land or 355 million hectares is used for red meat production.

It says the sector currently contributes around ten per cent of Australia’s GHG emissions, with the remainder coming mostly from transport and electricity generation.

“Livestock production is part of the climate solution,” Mr Strong said.

He said research showed there was an appetite for carbon neutral products, and that one in four consumers were willing to pay up to 15 per cent more for them.

“We know that the community wants action on climate change,” he told the audience.

“The red meat sector is doing the heavy lifting in this space,” he told the audience.

He also outlined further commitments for the industry through a series of partnerships targeting emission avoidance and carbon storage.

The aims include reducing GHG emissions by a further five per cent by 2025, and a 20 per cent improvement in livestock productivity .

Mr Strong said the MLA also aims to store another 15 million tonnes of CO2 within 10 million hectares of Australian grazing land within the next three years.