25 °C Singapore, SG
January 22, 2021
Latest News
Kerry climate team begins to take shape Australia not among 50 countries vowing to protect 30 per cent of land and sea by 2030 Investors pressure HSBC to take stronger action to phase out coal financing Morgan Stanley takes stake in SolMicroGrid in a nod toward Energy-as-a-Service model Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz triples its electric car sales as CEO predicts a ‘transformative’ decade IEEFA Indonesia: PLN has ‘Green Ambition’ but is short on renewable energy credibility 2021: The Decarbonization Race Is On From climate ambition to renewables realization – are you hopeful for a better 2021? Improving energy storage will be crucial to a smooth energy transition Major US pension fund plans fossil-free future EV Battery Packs ~50% Cheaper Than In 2016 A $7 trillion climate change warning to the stock market from its biggest shareholder World still warms in 2020 as greenhouse gases fall Human handiwork’s mass exceeds world lifeforms China and Australia face a climate tipping point Lunaz Electric Classic Range Rover Collection Includes 007’s Roofless Off-Roader Analysis: When might the world exceed 1.5C and 2C of global warming? Proposed steep tariff cut risks disruption in Vietnam’s wind market, industry body warns Is South Korea on the right path to carbon neutrality? Rising ocean heat leaves fish gasping for oxygen World Bank helps developing countries’ wind spurt Project on biomass gasification technology launched Green hydrogen, Holy Grail for long-term energy storage, getting supermajors’ attention Ford unveils new electric van for its profitable commercial business Greek island ditches fossil fuel cars to go green Toshiba to produce ‘state of the art’ wind turbine Climate Is Driving Voting More Than You Might Think, Especially For Women Researchers develop new method to turn used cooking oil into biodiesel Africa’s resistance grows as climate crisis worsens Asia’s aspiring ‘green-collar’ workers hope for jobs in Covid recovery

$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 *