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31 August 2022

Farmers call for urgent climate action on flood anniversary

 

Farmers from the NSW Northern Rivers region are calling for deep emissions reductions this decade to protect farming communities, six months on from disastrous flooding that took lives and destroyed livelihoods.

 

Farmers for Climate Action has collected the stories of more than 40 flood-affected farmers in the Northern Rivers. Most are still grappling with the fallout from the disaster, and with ongoing wet weather that is putting yet another growing season at risk.

 

“Climate change is disrupting our livelihoods and the old ways of measuring “once in 100 year” floods aren’t relevant any more,” said mixed farmer Peter Lake from the Grafton region, one of the interviewees.

 

“There have been two inquiries into the floods that devastated our communities. The NSW Upper House one didn’t really acknowledge the reality I’m still living: that the changed climate is making wet weather wetter, and we need to take action to rapidly reduce emissions this decade,” said Mr Lake.

 

“At the same time, we need real support to make our properties more resilient to the next flood or drought event that climate change brings.”

 

“Farmers are already doing so much to reduce emissions – changing animal feeds, planting shelterbelts, embracing renewable energy – but we need governments to act and support us. Without action on climate change we are literally stuck in the mud.”

 

Action on climate change is the common thread throughout the farmer interviews, alongside heartbreaking impacts for homes, crops, animals and livelihoods. Many farmers also raised the issue of restrictive eligibility requirements for recovery assistance.

 

“Farmers are on the front lines of climate change, facing more severe and frequent drought, heatwaves, fires and floods,” said Farmers for Climate Action CEO Fiona Davis. “Extreme weather is making farming harder and more uncertain, affecting the food supply chain at every stage and driving up costs of inputs and insurance.”

 

“If we act quickly, there are huge economic opportunities for farmers and regional Australians through new carbon and environmental income streams and regional clean energy. Let’s not miss the opportunity to create secure, resilient jobs and livelihoods for farmers and regional Australians.”

 

Farmers for Climate Action is calling for:

  1. Deep emissions reductions this decade
  2. Support for farmers to prepare for and recover from extreme weather
  3. A comprehensive National Climate and Agriculture Policy
  4. High integrity carbon and biodiversity markets

 

ENDS

Further farmer stories and testimonials are available on request. 

To arrange interviews, please contact Emily Watkins on 0420 622 408 or [email protected]org.au.

Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of 7000 farmers calling for strong economy-wide climate policies.

 

Farmers for Climate Action represents 7000 farmers aiming for economy-wide emissions reduction.

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