Thursday, 29 July 2021. A new report from ABARES shows farmers are adapting to climate change, but without action to reduce emissions, adaptation will become increasingly difficult and farm profits will suffer.
It found Australian farms have lost, on average, nearly $30,000 each year in profits over the past 20 years due to climate change.
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Fiona Davis said: “The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences report released today says that even if emissions peak by 2040, farm profits are projected to fall by up to 32 per cent.
“More severe impacts could be experienced in central Queensland and parts of western NSW, where producers are already grappling with challenging conditions.
“Australian farmers are incredible at adapting, as this report notes, but there are ultimately limits to what they can adapt to. The longer we delay action to reduce emissions the worse the effects of climate change on farms will be.
“There’s no time to waste. The federal government must fully commit to a net zero emissions target and a plan to get us there as soon as possible, or risk the future of Australia’s food and fibre industries.”
Angus Whyte, a livestock farmer in south-west NSW, said state and federal governments, and industry, needed to invest in more research and development into climate change adaptation, including more flexible farming systems.
“There are already challenges involved in running a business producing food and fibre, all while being stewards of the land, managing native wildlife, restoring ecosystems and good watershed management,” he said
“The healthier and greener we can keep the heart of Australia – the rangelands – this can help reduce the effects of climate change on our medium rainfall agriculture zones.”