“Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries in the world to climate change impacts. This is already posing very significant challenges to food production. Food prices will continue to go up, the quality of food could be compromised and the seasonality of food could change as the climate continues to warm and weather patterns become more unpredictable. Many of our favourite foods, including milk, fruit, vegetables, wine and beef are already being affected by climate change and these impacts will grow as weather extremes get worse.”

The Climate Council’s Professor Lesley Hughes

The Tree:

Climate change represents a clear and growing threat to Australia’s food security, according to a new report from The Climate Council. Titled Feeding a hungry nation: climate change, food and farming in Australia, the report shows that rising temperatures and lower rainfall have already affected crop yields, and both yields and quality will continue to decrease as climate change drives more frequent and intense extreme weather events, such as bushfires and drought. As agricultural commodities are worth roughly $50 billion a year, and the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector employs 2.6 per cent of all Australians, the impact on Australia’s economy will likely be great – particularly if action to address climate change remains inadequate. The Climate Council warns that strong, urgent action to transition to a low carbon economy is needed, and if undertaken will – like more efficient use of water resources and protection of farmland from coal mining – help Australia secure its food supply while tapping into the vast co-benefits of climate action.