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Caitlin McConnel

Caitlin McConnel

Grazier and Senior Associate, Clayton Utz
Natural Capital Markets and the Information Gap Between Food Security and Net Zero

Caitlin will discuss why a holistic approach must be taken to the wealth creation and land regeneration opportunities available through emerging natural capital markets, to ensure that primary producers are not compromised in their ability to:
  • Satisfy their own ESG disclosure obligations, or
  • Produce food & fibre, in light of the compounding effects of food insecurity.

About Caitlin: 

Caitlin is a Senior Associate in the Agriculture & Food and Natural Capital Markets Teams at Clayton Utz, working across practice groups nationally in relation to the role agriculture plays in respect of natural capital markets, ESG investment opportunities & risk, and agrivoltaics. Caitlin specialises in agriculture & food legislation, water law, food security policy and frameworks, and climate-related litigation.

Caitlin has a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne specialising in issues pertaining to agriculture, particularly the role climate change, food, and water security plays in the context of national security in Australia. Her research paper considering the Water Act 2000 (Cth) in the context of 'critical human water needs' was published and is now used by the Melbourne Law School as teaching material. In 2022 she was an inaugural recipient of the Farmers for Climate Action Climate-Smart Farming Scholarship which focussed on carbon neutral agriculture including the calculation of methane emissions on farm and throughout the value chain, and climate adaptation methods.

In conjunction with her role at Clayton Utz, Caitlin is recognised as a young leader and top agribusiness professional in Australia, and is an advocate for youth in agriculture, and mental health & wellness in the legal and agricultural sectors. She is a sixth-generation farmer who oversees the day-to-day management of her family property with her parents (beef, agrivoltaics & agritourism) in SEQ, and is also Chair of the Future Farmers Network, and a Member of the National Farmers' Federation Farm Data Code Certification Panel, the National Farmers’ Federation Young Farmers’ Council, the Queensland Law Society Water & Agribusiness Law Committee, and the Agribusiness Australia Queensland State Council.

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