The Australian Government must spend far more on emissions reduction and climate smart agriculture, or risk being left behind, Farmers for Climate Action said today.
Farmers for Climate Action Interim CEO, Fiona Davis, said: “The [2021-22 Federal] Budget included funding for a number of worthy initiatives, including a national soils strategy and an expansion of the biodiversity stewardship program.”
“This is a start but we need much more if the Federal Government wants to prove that it’s serious about tackling climate change in the lead up to UN climate talks in Glasgow in November,” Dr Davis said.
“Australia needs to meet the challenge of climate change head-on, and capitalise on the opportunities it presents. But without greater investment in the current biodiversity program, climate-smart agriculture research and extension, and renewable energy, we’re missing an incredible opportunity that’s going to cost us economically, physically and socially.”
“With the US, the UK and the EU stepping up their commitments, Australia risks being left behind if we don’t quickly step up,” she said.
Farmers for Climate Action Chair, Charlie Prell, from Crookwell in NSW, said: “This budget is a missed opportunity to use record low-interest rates to act on a fast-closing window of opportunity to act on climate change. What’s holding us back?”
“Without real dollars on the table, farmers are being taken for granted again. We stand to gain so much from investment in climate adaptation and mitigation, including new community-owned renewable energy developments.”
Mr Prell added: “We urgently need the Australian Government to make a firm commitment on a net-zero goal, the pathway to get there, and then direct resources to where the evidence shows it needs to go. Taxpayers’ money must not be used to fund further investment in outdated ideology-driven technologies such as gas and carbon capture and storage, which will most likely become stranded assets.”
Farmers for Climate Action is a movement of more than 5000 farmers working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontlines of climate change, are a key part of its solution.