25 February 2019
Federal Government Climate Solutions Package an inadequate response
Farmers are describing the Federal Government’s $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package as an inadequate response to Australia’s climate challenges.
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Verity Morgan-Schmidt said while the program included welcome support for farmers via the Climate Solutions Fund, it lacked detail and failed to recognise the importance of reducing emissions across the economy, particularly in the energy sector
Ms Morgan-Schmidt said any credible economy-wide climate policy must take into account emissions from the energy sector.
“We welcome ongoing opportunities for agriculture to participate in climate solutions, including revegetation and drought-proofing activities. However, these strategies must be delivered in conjunction with a credible, transparent policy to drive a transition to clean energy.
“Support for on-farm activities is one part of the solution and we welcome more detail on the opportunities for co-benefits in this space, but once again, the Federal Government is failing to see the big picture of climate change. Our political leaders must stand up for rural and regional Australia by producing a meaningful climate policy that holds big fossil fuel emitters to account.”
Ms Morgan-Schmidt said it was especially frustrating that the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, was framing the announcement purely in terms of protecting the economy.
“We no longer have time for either/or solutions. Our farmers are already hurting as a result of a changing climate. Without decisive action now, the threat to our economy in the medium to long-term is enormous. University of Melbourne Professor Tom Kompas has described the result of unchecked climate change as being like a Great Depression that never ends.”
Farmers for Climate Action Deputy-Chair Charlie Prell, who farms near Crookwell, said the future profitability and sustainability of his farm business – and of Australian agriculture – hinged on effective climate action, and a clean energy transition.
“In its current form the Climate Solutions Package fails to take the action that is necessary to effectively cut emissions and deliver the benefits of a clean energy transition for regional Australia. The Package should be focused on reducing emissions, not just absorbing and offsetting the emissions that are already in the atmosphere. Massive benefits are available for farmers and rural communities that host the renewable energy infrastructure of the future.
“Farmers are already dealing with the impacts of climate change – droughts, floods and fires – and have huge potential to benefit from a clean energy transition. We’re calling on the Government to support solutions both on and off the farm.”
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 part of its solution.
Media contact: Fiona Davis, [email protected], 0434 505 188