Climate change and agriculture
Farmers are on the front lines of climate change in Australia. Huge swathes of our country’s farmland are currently suffering from the worst drought in living memory, while other parts have experienced devastating flooding and storms that have wiped out entire paddocks of crops in an afternoon. Global grain yields have declined by 10% from heat-waves and floods connected to climate change; bushfires and droughts are becoming the new normal.
Food security obviously underpins our continued existence as a civilisation, and in Australia food security is much more fragile than most Australians understand. The Garnaut Review into climate impacts on Australia found that there would be a 92-97% decline in irrigated agriculture capacity along the Murray-Darling Basin by the end of century without significant global action on climate change. The Murray-Darling system provides 40% of Australia’s food. Climate change threatens Australia’s capacity to feed ourselves and the nations which we export food to.