With no clear action on climate or energy policies, Australian farmers are scratching their heads and wondering how they can drive change.
The Federal Government is failing to help. They are talking about extending the life of old, polluting coal-fired power stations; more subsidies and taxpayer assistance to the fossil fuel industry; and pressuring states to frack more gas – an industry that directly competes for prime agricultural land.
They can’t be thinking of our interests. Farmers are the ones already impacted by climate change – look no further than heatwaves and severe rain shortages in parts of the country. We are also dealing with soaring energy costs.
It’s time we used our voice to speed up the change we need. NSW farmer Jim McDonald is a case in point. Infuriated by rural MPs who were spouting anti-renewable energy guff, he started an open letter. More than 2000 farmers around the country have signed on.
As individuals we can get drowned out, but collectively our voice carries weight. If our views are to be heard, however, we must start talking to elected representatives before it’s too late.
Farmers are looking to renewables and storage to cut their energy costs. If you think that should be encouraged, then speak out.
Farmers directly benefit from large-scale renewable projects. Wind turbines alone generate approximately $20 million worth of passive income for us.
Agriculture is one of the most climate-exposed industries in the country. If you think farmers should be supported to cope with what’s happening now, and steps taken to avoid worse impacts into the future – then speak out!
The future of farming won’t be assured without a fight. Add your voice.
Verity Morgan-Schmidt is CEO of Farmers for Climate Action