Frequently Asked Questions

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most at Farmers for Climate Action. Have a question that’s not answered below? Email us at info@farmersforclimateaction.org.au.

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About Farmers for Climate Action

Who are Farmers for Climate Action?

Farmers for Climate Action is an inclusive movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontline of climate change, are part of the solution. FCA’s vision is for ‘farming forever’. In practical terms,  FCA is supporting farmers to build climate, carbon and energy literacy and advocate for climate solutions both on and and off farm.

How can I get involved?

We'd love you to join us! There are lots of ways to get involved with Farmers for Climate Action.

The first step is to sign up on our website, and if you're on social media follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Like to do more? As a small not-for-profit, we rely on the support of our community and active volunteers. Here are some of the ways you might like to get involved:

  • Become active in your community: volunteer with FCA, meet your MP / write letters to local papers etc
  • Attend a training session or event (online or in person)
  • Build links with other FCA supporters in your region and across Australia
  • Share resources and information about climate smart agriculture and climate literacy (support on social media, forwarding e-newsletters etc)
  • Host a farmer / rural community engagement event
  • Join campaigns online
  • Provide in-kind support of goods or services 
Email us at info@farmersforclimateaction.org.au to find out more.

What evidence does Farmers for Climate Action rely on?

Robust evidence is fundamental to our work at Farmers for Climate Action.

We rely on our trusted expert advisors and reports from credible sources, including (but not limited to):

Domestically

Internationally

Who funds Farmers for Climate Action?

Farmers for Climate Action is generously funded through a mixture of grants from Australian foundations, donations from philanthropists and a regular giver program. We also run crowdfunding campaigns for specific initiatives from time-to-time. We are extremely grateful to the generosity of the Australian individuals and organisations who make our work possible.

Some of the Australian foundations and philanthropists we’ve been proud to work with include:

  • The William Buckland Foundation - Advancing Agriculture Trust
  • Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal
  • Myer Foundation Innovation Fellowship
  • Yulgilbar Foundation
  • Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation
  • Melbourne Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation
  • The Climate Council
  • Rebecca Gorman
  • Reichstein Foundation  
  • Garry White Foundation
  • Climate Action Network Australia
  • NR Peace and Justice Fund
  • Paul & Michelle Gilding

How is Farmers for Climate Action structured?

Farmers for Climate Action is a public company, limited by guarantee. We have an active board and a small but agile staff. We are registered as a charity under the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission (ACNC) and subject to the same reporting requirements as any charity of our size. Learn more about the ACNC and regulation of Australian charities here.

Our volunteer Board, Governors and Members are integral to the success of our work; and we appreciate the contributions of our supporters across Australia. Learn more about some of our incredible team here.

Is Farmers for Climate Action aligned with a political party?

Absolutely not! As a registered charity, Farmers for Climate Action is strictly non-partisan, noting that all sides of politics share culpability for the current debacle of climate and energy policy.

We seek to play the ball, not the man - advancing action on climate change regardless of political colours.

What is Farmers for Climate Action trying to achieve?

We are a movement of farmers, agricultural leaders and rural Australians working to ensure that farmers, who are on the frontlines of climate change, are part of the solution.

We believe that if we mobilise farmers, graziers and agriculturalists to lead climate solutions on-farm and advocate together, we can influence our sector and government to implement climate policies that reduce pollution and benefit rural communities.

Our three-year strategy focuses on four key areas:

  • Agriculture is climate smart
  • Farmers mobilised to drive a clean energy transition
  • Agriculture leaders are championing climate action
  • Rural and regional MPs are championing climate action and and renewable energy for regional Australia.

To find out more about what we do, download our strategic plan.

How is Farmers for Climate Action different to other groups?

We are the only farmer-led organisation that specialises in climate action.

Agriculture accounts for 13 per cent of Australia’s emissions and yet we are the first organisation to focus on ensuring Australia reduces its emissions in a way that works for farmers.*

We also help farmers communicate with the public about climate change. This is critical as farmers are frequently recognised as some of the most trusted voices on climate change.

Where climate change movements have typically focussed on left-wing political parties, we are committed to bringing about multi-partisan political support for climate action and work across the political spectrum.

How many farmers does Farmers for Climate Action represent?

Farmers for Climate Action represents approximately 5000 farmers from across Australia.

Are Farmers for Climate Action board members paid?

Farmers for Climate Action board members generously offer their time on the board voluntarily.

The Farmers for Climate Action Board is a voluntary role, with no Board members paid for these positions.

Climate change and agriculture

Where can I learn more about managing my climate risk on farm?

There is a growing bank of resources available to help farmers manager their climate risk.

Here are a few to get you started:

Most Australian RDCs have made progress on research into climate mitigation and adaptation for individual sectors. Check out your relevant RDC, or email us at info@farmersforclimateaction.org.au

What impact is climate change having on our naturally variable climate? Are we seeing more droughts?

It’s hard to say that droughts are directly caused by any one factor, but we know that climate change is increasing the drying trend across Australia. There is no denying that climate change is making the frequency and severity of droughts worse. We’re living out the reality of this right now.  

The average temperature has risen by about 1 degree celsius across Australia, contributing to an increase in the frequency and intensity of hot days and heatwaves. Increased temperature increases the process of evaporation, in turn increasing the severity of droughts.

We’re also expecting to see an increase in the severity of other extreme weather events, including flooding and heat waves.

Do drought packages work - or what do we need to be done?

There is no doubt that there is a need for immediate relief for farmers who are being hit hard by the drought. However, drought packages are a bandaid, when what we really need are long term solutions. We need our political leaders to recognise the climate trends and to invest in adaptation and mitigation measures, to rapidly cut emissions and to back a National Strategy on Climate Change and Agriculture.

Do you support farmers killing sick/starving animals?

Farmers are committed to the welfare and wellbeing of their animals, and no farmer wants to see an animal suffer. It’s critical that we recognise the urgency of the climate situation, in order to maintain good animal welfare, and our sustainability during tough times.  

Isn’t  it hypocritical  for farmers to campaign  for climate change action  given that agriculture is one  of the biggest sources of emissions?

On  average,  a single Australian  farmer produces enough  food each year to feed  600 people.  We  can’t  live without  farming – and  that’s why farmers  are constantly working  to find new ways to make  the industry more efficient and  sustainable instead. Like: producing  renewable energy and creating sustainable  farming systems that increase carbon storage  in vegetation and soils.

Agriculture is leading the way on emissions reductions; including working towards a carbon neutral red meat sector by 2030. It’s time for the energy sector, and the Government to step up.

Some of the great work already underway includes:

How can you defend animal agriculture given its impact on the environment?

Suggestions that climate change can be abated if the world’s population convert to veganism are exaggerated and unrealistic. Much of the land currently used for sheep and cattle is not suitable for crop production, and its use for meat production helps us meet the nutritional requirements of a growing world population. Animal agriculture, meanwhile, only accounts for a small percentage of greenhouse gas emissions overall. Australian farmers have made enormous sustainability gains over the past few years, and are continuing to change what they do in order to minimise their impact on the environment.

How  does renewable  energy benefit farmers,  and their communities more  broadly?

Australia  is one of  the windiest  and sunniest countries  on earth and it has enough  renewable energy resources to power  itself. Renewable energy is cheap, reliable  and the technology is available now.

Renewables  (e.g. wind and  solar power) can  help drought-proof farms  by providing a second, secure  source of income, as this report from the Australian Wind Alliance clearly demonstrated.  It also benefits our regional community by attracting  new investment, creating jobs and providing energy security  and independence.

Understanding climate

How do you know the climate is warming?

There  is overwhelming  evidence that our  planet is warming at  an unprecedented rate, demonstrated most recently in this report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which brings together the world’s leading scientists, and, more locally, in the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology’s State of the Climate report.  This is driven  by greenhouse gases  from human activities,  primarily from burning fossil  fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Australian  farmers know  climate change  is real because  it’s affecting us  now. This is not normal  – and this is not something  far away on the other side of  the world, or in the future, this  is happening now.

What’s the difference between climate and weather?

It’s easy to be confused between climate and weather or to equate them as the same thing. Basically, climate is the long-term average weather patterns for a region, while weather is what we experience on a day-to-day basis. Our friends at Climate Council have a great explainer on this.

How can I find out more about how climate works?

There are lots of great resources that explain climate and weather patterns.

The Victorian Government’s Climate Dogs do a great job of explaining the main drivers of climate. For more general information we suggest you check out Climate Council’s resources section, especially its Explainer and Mythbusting pages.

Politicians keep saying our emissions are on track. Why are you saying that they’re not?

The Federal Government’s own emissions projections, released in December 2018, show that Australia is projected to reduce emissions by only 7% on 2005 levels including land use, land use change and forestry figures. This falls a long way short of our 26-28% target.