Farmers for Climate Action

Farmers for Climate Action is an inclusive movement of farmers and rural Australians who are leading the way on climate solutions and sustainable food productive systems.

EarthChat (103.9FM on Friday August 7th) had the privilege of talking at some length with Anika Molesworth, a creative mind and 2015 Young Farmer of the Year, and a foundation member and current Board member of Farmers for Climate Action.  If you missed EarthChat with Anika on August 7th, read more below:

Founded in 2015 by a group of farmers from many bioregions of Australia, FCA is a national body of some 5000 farmers and 28,000 members

Anika Molesworth  is a leader amongst inspiring young women taking on big challenges. She speaks with passion and a sense of urgency in addressing climate and its impact on sustainable food production into the future. “With one in five bags of supermarket food going to waste, and land-clearing in Queensland for unsustainable cattle farming, we have some serious sustainability issues to address”.  

Anika links the potential of observation and experience on the land, with young minds and the potential of Information Technology to re-position our relationship with the land. Food production can be smarter, our supply chains can be more secure and more equitable, and we can conserve and expand our remnant native vegetation to create a more durable landscape that can be resilient in more extreme climate. A marriage of experience, science and technology holds a lot of promise. Further, Aboriginal knowledge can strengthen our response and engage communities in the process. (the “Helen Haines process”.  PL)

The FCA current Strategy “Regional Horizons is remarkably consistent with the strategies of the Climate Council (Clean Jobs Plan), Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth, Commission for the Human Future, Professor John Garnaut at the Stimulus Summit…. They all have the same message- a future opportunity of renewable energy underpinning an Australian and green manufacturing stimulus coupled with opportunities to export clean energy.  We don’t get a chance to reset our bearings like this often. A crisis from inaction on global warming is also the “push factor”.

From the FCA website. 

Rural and regional Australia stands at a crossroads. With our clear natural advantages, a history of world-class research and innovation, and talented people, we have a once in a generation opportunity to build a future of resilience, opportunity and sustainable growth.

Regional Australia is responsible for about 40 per cent of the nation’s economic output and provides jobs for around one third of Australia’s workforce. It is the backbone of Australian agriculture, which seeks to grow from a value of around $60 billion to $100 billion over the next decade.

Drawing on the power and experience of farming communities, Australia can emerge as a global leader becoming a renewable energy superpower, maintaining and improving agricultural productivity, assuring food security while exploring new opportunities. We can accelerate large-scale investment in landscape repair, build adaptable, resilient communities, and cut emissions.

Enter Regional Horizons. This five-year $1.8 billion program creates new opportunities for jobs and industries, while building a climate-smart rural and regional Australia. It builds on existing successes, networks and investments, and provides policy integration and certainty.  This all makes it possible for private, public and community led innovation leading to adaptive, resilient communities and reduced carbon emissions.

Regional Horizons is underpinned by four core areas of work:

  1. The development and delivery of the National Climate Change and Agriculture Work Plan, which all state and federal Agriculture Ministers have already agreed to. Done well, the plan could play an important role coordinating efforts to promote climate-smart agriculture and build regional resilience to drought, fire and other mounting risks
  2. A new Land and Environment Investment Fund (LEIF), working from the successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), to support innovation, attract large-scale investment, reward ecosystem services, and promote climate solutions and resilience on the land.
  3. Regional Resilience Hub Network,to strengthen and diversify existing learning networks, encourage innovation, and empower regional communities with choices in a changing climate.
  4. Regional Energy Transition Program, to promote and support community-based, clean energy developments, and modernise and decentralise power grids.

The results?

Regional Horizons will help to deliver:

  • A regional boom as new industries flourish, creating tens of thousands of new, well-paying jobs, and attracting new people and fresh talent to rural areas, with flow-on benefits for whole communities
  • Prudent investment in climate-smart farms, doing more and better with less environmental impact, and regenerating natural and social capital. Resource use is highly efficient, with more and more farms having added clean energy to their portfolios
  • A thriving landscape carbon industry,generating up to $10.4 billion in revenue and up to 15,750 jobs by 2030. Carbon storage in trees and soil is emerging as a significant new export industry and another income stream for many farmers.
  • Greater farmer resilience, farm performance and efficiency, better enabling them to weather a changing climate

  “The biggest threat to our planet is the belief that

someone else will save it” 

 Does this mirror 2050 as the date for net-zero carbon emissions?   BEAM suggests we may need to be there a lot sooner.   

So we are with Anika…our time is NOW.

Anika is hard to get hold of….. And heres why:  she launched her work platform,  is involved with, is and on the Board of FCA, and is writing a book in her spare time.

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