25 °C Singapore, SG
April 20, 2021
Latest News
Loss of Arctic sea ice can spoil French wine harvest Southeast Asia to establish its own framework for green investments, but natural gas remains a feature Major Asian bank says it’s not practical in the short term to cut off clients in the coal business Volkswagen Reveals the ID.6 CROZZ and ID.6 X Guest post: How finance from rich nations could drive 40% of new coal plant emissions What’s Greener In Europe — A Train, A Plane, Or A Car? What’s Dirtiest? Polestar 0: A Truly Carbon-Neutral Car By 2030 University researchers raise a toast to biofuel prospects How can small renewable power producers help the Philippines reach its 35% clean energy target? New report hails the decade of renewables as 2020 hits capacity record Low Carbon Aluminum Boosted By Audi’s Use In Automotive First To avoid future pandemics, reverse the destruction of ecosystems Eni’s new treatment plant begins operations Smart energy managed service stations coming in Singapore Is 2021 when net zero targets become a central focus for world leaders? Australia ranked worst in world on Covid recovery spending on green options How wind power is leading America’s energy transition Indoor-Grown Weed Is Spewing Carbon Into the Atmosphere China selects Siemens Energy transformers for first 66kV offshore wind farm LG Energy Solution to invest $4.5bn in US battery production expansion Waning support for nuclear power 10 years after Fukushima Enterprises’ sustainable development contributes to Việt Nam’s prosperity: PM Grab is hatching a carbon-cutting plan Tata Power unveils blockchain-enabled solar trading for Delhi customers Construction set to start on Australia’s first lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant UK Ford Mustang Mach-E Buyers Get Big Charging Boost Via BP Pulse Network Solar power’s future could soon be overshadowed Why a managed shift away from fossil fuels is essential and urgent. Including for petrostates. Dangerous narratives and climate migration IEA releases India Energy Outlook 2021 report

$1b ‘wiped off farm incomes from 20 years of climate change’

More than $1 billion has been wiped from the value of Australia’s annual crop production due to the change in climate over the past two decades, according to a new report.

ABARES Climate report key points

Key points:

  • A new government report finds cropping farmers are most exposed to changing climate, losing $70k from average annual profit
  • ABARES says farmer profits have fallen 22 per cent over past two decades
  • The report suggests drought relief for farmers risks slowing adjustment and innovation

For the first time, government commodity analyst ABARES has quantified the financial loss Australian farmers have experienced due to the increasingly warmer and drier climate.

It found changes in climate since 2000, had reduced the average broadacre farmer’s profits by 22 per cent, or about $18,600 per year.

For cropping farmers — considered the most heavily exposed to climate variability — the annual farm profits fell by 35 per cent, or $70,900.

“We knew it was big, but we didn’t have a precise number before and this model and method allows us to get at that,” report co-author Steve Hatfield-Dodds said.

Dr Hatfield-Dodds said the modelling relied on 30 years of data, which distinguished the impact of price, climate variability and other factors on Australian farms.

That was modelled with reporting by the Bureau of Meteorology.

“Essentially, there’s been a shift in climate in the last past 20 years, where the climate has become noticeably hotter and drier,” he said.

Drought support reduces adaptation

The ABARES report has thrown up questions about government support for farmers affected by drought, and how best to drive innovation in the sector, as the climate continues to change.

“Adjustment, change and innovation are fundamental to improving agricultural productivity, maintaining Australia’s competitiveness in world markets, and providing attractive and financially sustainable opportunities for farm households,” it reported.

Dr Hatfield-Dodds said the sector must increase its resilience to a warmer and drier climate.

“There’s a lot of talk about economists versus normal people,” Dr Hatfield-Dodds said.

“The economists worry about drought assistance because there is this unavoidable dilemma between helping farmers who are in need now, and slowing down innovations and adjustment in the sector.

Rural Newsletter

Rural news in your inbox?

Subscribe for the national headlines of the day.

“And we know from this study — and lots of other ones — that innovation is crucial to improving farm income for households over the long run.

“But there aren’t many options for governments to help farmers that don’t risk slowing down innovation.”

He suggested incentives, such as improved weather-insurance policies for farmers, could help build resilience in the sector.

Dr Hatfield-Dodds also highlighted the Federal Government’s Future Drought Fund, providing $100 million a year from next year, as a policy which would support resilience in the sector as the climate evolved.

It was not yet clear how that funding would be allocated, but the legislation passed earlier this year outlined spending on future drought preparedness.

Losses could have been greater

The report found the losses would have been even greater had Australian farmers not adapted to drought as well as they had.

In short, if the average cropping farm had made no adaptions to the hotter and drier climate, its income would have been down by a further $26,700 a year.

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *