News

UN report is a ‘wake up’ call

By Country News

More support and action is required as farmers continue to battle with the effects of climate change, says Farmers for Climate Action local spokesperson John Pettigrew.

Spurred on by a recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Mr Pettigrew said the worrying outlook for the world only solidified the need for more action.

The report, compiled by a number of leading scientists, has warned that drastic changes across the globe are needed to prevent temperatures rising by 2°C.

The United Nations climate report analysed 6000 scientific studies and called for coal to be phased out by 2050, increased wind and solar power and more investment in sustainable agriculture and carbon capture technology.

The Farmers for Climate Action group has accused Australian politicians of ‘‘burying their heads in the sand’’ and called for them to ‘‘wake up’’.

‘‘It’s a warning for all of us,’’ Mr Pettigrew said.

‘‘What we’re seeing is the change is already happening. We’re dealing with a warmer, more uncertain climate ... There’s a lot to be done just through simple leadership.’’

Mr Pettigrew said the increasingly harsh and more volatile conditions had already forced change within agriculture, something that would only continue.

‘We’ve seen shadow cloths, irrigation systems that maybe weren’t needed in the past but are now crucial ... The reason for all those innovations is clear.’’

With energy prices and supply a continuing concern of primary producers, Mr Pettigrew believes there is continued need for more support and assistance with implementing more renewable energy options.

‘‘(Governments) need to be prepared to pave the way,’’ he said.

The Federal Government was not persuaded by calls for urgent climate action last week, instead doubling down on promises to lower electricity prices and meet existing emissions reduction targets.

In the wake of the IPCC report, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would consider options to help limit environmental warming if they made financial sense.

‘‘I am not going to rule out things based on ideology,’’ Mr Morrison said last Tuesday.

‘‘I am going to consider things that I think will ensure that we get electricity prices down when it comes to energy.

‘‘I will also always consider things that will help us meet our environmental targets.’’

However Environment Minister Melissa Price said phasing coal out by 2050 was an irresponsible target and scientists were ‘‘drawing a very long bow’’.