The 2018 State of the Climate report, which projects more extreme heatwaves and severe droughts across much of Australia, is yet another dire warning of the costs of climate inaction, said Farmers for Climate Action today.
The jointly-produced report from the Bureau Meteorology and CSIRO, confirms that Australia’s climate has warmed more than 1°C over the past century, and this is exacerbating the frequency of extreme heat events. Rainfall is also decreasing dramatically over the southwest of the country.
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said: “The report demonstrates the worsening conditions that many Australian farmers have been struggling with for months now, and the urgent need to take climate action immediately.
“Climate change is here now. We can’t afford to kick the can down the road any further.
“In the past few months alone, we’ve had a debilitating drought in eastern states; blistering heatwaves and unprecedented fires in Queensland; and widespread flooding in Victoria and NSW.
“These disasters are just an unpleasant taste of challenges to come if there is no swift and decisive action on climate. Things will only get tougher for farmers if nothing is done.
“Yet the Federal Government is approving new thermal coal mines, pursuing the underwriting of coal power generation and demonstrating absolutely no capacity to address the challenges we face.
“The Federal Government also claims that Australia is on track to meet its emissions reductions obligations, when we know that emissions have been rising for four years in a row now.
“We’re calling on the Government to come clean with Australians and release the 2018 emissions projections immediately. We need transparency and accountability to get our nation on the right track.”
Quirindi farmer Jim McDonald said: “The State of the Climate 2018 report confirms the bleak long-term outlook for Australian agriculture – and my family’s property – if emissions are allowed to continue unchecked.
“The report highlights how dangerous a do-nothing approach really is. Continued government inaction is putting our long-term ability to produce food and fibre in jeopardy.
“This report tells us that our climate is already changing rapidly. Australian farmers and graziers are adapting but we can only do so much. If emissions continue to increase, our job is not just going to get harder – it may become impossible.
“Farmers and graziers have had enough of ideology and idiocy. It’s time for our Government to stand up for the future of regional Australia and to commit to real action on climate change."
Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontline of climate change, are a key part of the solution.