‘Times up’: Farmers demand swift action on climate change

FARMERS are demanding the Federal Government takes swift and decisive action to curb the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions after its latest greenhouse gas accounting revealed emissions had continued to climb.

According to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory update for December 2018, Australia’s emissions rose to a record high of 557.7mt (excluding land use data), up 0.6% from 2017.

Agriculture and electricity emissions fell, but not enough to offset transport and LNG emissions increases.


Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said farmers were increasingly concerned that the Federal Government was “failing to take action on the single biggest issue threatening the Australian agricultural sector”.

“We’re beginning to feel like a broken record, but our emissions just keep heading in the wrong direction,” she said.

“As the country grapples with drought, water shortages and the aftermath of the hottest summer on record, it’s abundantly clear.

“Acting on climate change is not a nice-to-have or optional extra. It’s a strategic and productivity necessity if we want to keep producing food and fibre for the world.

“Farmers around Australia are sending a clear message, Federal Government politicians, particularly those representing rural Australia, have an economic and moral imperative to act.

“At a state level, Queensland is hosting Climate Week and the Victorian Nationals has pledged to support farmers (among others) to adapt to climate change.

“We welcome this acceptance of science and applaud this sub-national leadership, but we also desperately need the Federal government to recognise that it’s greenhouse gas emissions that are behind climate change.”

Farmers for Climate Action Chair and Bowna beef producer Lucinda Corrigan said her farm and community was dependent on a safe climate.

“Having just been re-elected, the Coalition Government now has an obligation to follow the lead of farmers and rise to the challenge of climate change,” Ms Corrigan said.

“Like most Australian farmers, I’m already feeling the impact of climate change on my farm in the form of more frequent extreme weather events.

“We’re adapting, but our ability to adapt has limits. We have no more time to waste.

“It is clear that the community has moved ahead of the politics in this country. The losses from climate change are higher than the cost of action.”