Coalition set to hurt farmers with inability to plan for climate change

The Australian Greens MPs

Today’s comments from Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, that he is open to adopting net zero emissions by 2050 but wants to see concrete plans before signing up to the pledge begs the question: what has he been doing for the last four years?

Greens spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Peter Whish-Wilson, said evidence of climate change impacts on farming is hardly new information and you’d be forgiven for thinking setting climate targets for 30 years’ time is a joke.

“In the past eight years the Coalition have torn up nearly all existing climate policies like the carbon price and clean energy package, ramped up fossil fuel exploration and production, whilst not providing a single credible policy that will tackle global warming,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.

“I welcome today’s indication from Agriculture Minister, David Littleproud, that he is open to adopting net zero emissions targets by 2050.

“However, his desire to see concrete plans before signing up to a 2050 target also begs the question: what on earth he has been doing as Agriculture Minister for the past four years?

“The Nationals have been ignoring farming groups that clearly feel the agricultural sector has an important role to play in climate action. This includes the National Farmers Federation who have backed an economy-wide target of 2050, and The Meat and Livestock Association who have an industry target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“Australia has within this past decade gone from being a global leader on climate action to a global embarrassment.

“The Nationals are now left playing catch up and David Littleproud’s comments today scream of a face-saving gesture – if he was legit he would be leading on getting a plan for net zero by 2050 developed.

“Few industries are more impacted by climatic disruption to ecosystems and biodiversity than farming and it’s beyond belief that The Nationals – the self-professed ‘farmers friends’ – are so deeply divided on climate change.

“The Greens urge The Nationals to unite with farming groups advocating for real ambition on tackling climate change, ahead of tomorrow’s Coalition meeting.”

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