Act Now On Emissions Says Farmers For Climate Action

Farmers for Climate Action - FCA

A group representing thousands of farmers across Australia is demanding the Federal Government takes “swift and decisive action” to rein in the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory update for December 2018 was released last week and shows Australia’s emissions rose again.

While the report was six days late, there was some prior warning about this outcome after preliminary estimates submitted to the UN were published indicating Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions would be up again for the fourth year in a row.

“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,” said Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt.

The group points out while the latest inventory update noted emissions associated with the agriculture and electricity sectors dropped, it wasn’t enough to offset transport and LNG emissions increases.

Ms. Morgan-Schmidt says farmers are concerned the government still isn’t taking the level of action necessary to address what is the biggest issue threatening Australia’s agricultural sector.

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

While farmers are adapting to changed conditions, their capacity to adapt has limits.

About Farmers For Climate Action

Farmers for Climate Action is a non-partisan group representing approximately 5,000 farmers from across Australia. According to the National Farmer’s Federation, there are approximately 85,681 farm businesses in the country.

Among other climate-related demands, the group is calling for the rapid transformation of Australia’s energy system away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy in a way that maximises benefits to farmers and regional communities.

According to its 2016 climate survey of 1,338 farmers and graziers, 80% supported more renewable energy in regional Australia.

Further information on the organisation and its strategic plan can be viewed here.

On-Farm Solar Power – Good For Planet, Good For Pocket

Australian farmers are increasingly embracing on-site solar energy generation. Installing renewables-based electricity generation on-farm isn’t just beneficial in terms of emissions reductions; but it can save farmers a bundle of cash too.

The cost of commercial solar power has dropped rapidly and in addition to the “solar rebate” still available nationally, other support can be accessed in various states. For example, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) last week published a video outlining the story of a fish farm near Childers that was able to install solar with the assistance of a Sustainability Loan.

Pond Perch Farming grows out perch for domestic and Asian markets. One of the Volz’s biggest expenses is electricity, but with the addition of the solar power system their mains electricity use is expected to reduce by around 30%.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

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