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Climate change

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— rural and urban gap Climate change is likely to worsen the systemic disadvantages suffered by rural and regional communities and further widen the gap between rural and urban areas, according to a report by the Climate Council.

O

n the Frontline: Climate Change

services, devaluing community assets and

Renewable energy can also attract jobs back

& Rural Communities’ finds the

degrading places we love,” she said. “Rural

into rural and regional areas, as large-scale

increase in extreme weather

and regional communities are often poorly

renewables projects tend to be located outside

events is disproportionately

equipped to deal with the health impacts of

urban areas. Finally, renewable energy can

affecting those in rural areas,

higher temperatures.

reduce electricity costs for rural and remote

with many agricultural businesses taking on

“While all Australians will be affected by

communities, who traditionally pay much

increased debt in response to these events.

these challenges, those living in rural com-

higher prices than their urban counterparts.

And while many businesses have made

munities will be worst affected.”

Climate Council Chief Councillor Tim

changes to adapt to the changing climate, such

The silver lining, according to the Climate

Flannery concludes that strong climate action

as changing sowing and harvesting dates or

Council’s Professor Lesley Hughes, is that

is required to protect those living in rural

switching to new breeds of livestock, there

tackling climate change “provides an unri-

and regional areas from worsening impacts.

is a limit to how much farmers can adapt.

valled opportunity to attract jobs and invest-

“People in the bush look after themselves

Report co-author Dr Lauren Rickards said

ment back to these communities”, with rural

and each other and they’re already getting

the risks posed by climate change threaten

areas currently receiving about 30–40% of

on with the job in adapting farming prac-

to exacerbate many of the social, health and

investment in renewables in Australia — or

tices and implementing solutions for climate

economic challenges already being experi-

1–2 billion dollars per year.

change,” he said.

enced by those in regional areas.

Many farmers are adding additional

“Now it’s time for our political leaders to

“In addition to affecting agricultural

revenue streams to their properties from

match their effort and take the action we need

production, climate change affects rural

renewable energy, with about $20.6 million

to tackle climate change.”

communities in many far-reaching ways,

paid annually in lease payments to farm-

The report can be found at:

increasing the cost of essential goods and

ers and landholders hosting wind turbines.

www.climatecouncil.org.au/ruralreport.

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Sustainability Matters Oct/Nov 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Oct/Nov 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...