The entire Australian state of New South Wales is in drought

Drought UN News.jpg

Binh Thuan, Thien Anh Huynh/Vietnam/UNEP. Degraded dryland ecossystems put at risk the social and economic well-being of millions of people.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Leora Klapper, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

A severe drought is crippling farmers and regional communities across the eastern state, where in some parts less than 10mm of rain fell in July, according to Bureau of Meteorology figures.

Image: Australia Government Bureau of Meteorology

New South Wales is now officially listed as “100% in drought” with 23% of the area classified as experiencing “extreme drought” condition. State and federal governments are providing emergency relief funding to producers responsible for approximately one-quarter of national agricultural output.

Farming impact

Sheep and cattle farmers are struggling to feed livestock as supplies of animal feed run out and dwindling stocks of hay, barley and other animal foodstuffs are commanding higher and higher prices.

As dams run dry due to the lack of rain, farmers are faced with the need to reluctantly sell livestock they can no longer take care of or cull their herds, actions which have serious long-term consequences.

Government figures show 659,000 head of cattle were slaughtered across Australia in June, the largest monthly total for three years.

The excess meat is being absorbed largely by the US market, but once America’s surplus storage capacity is saturated livestock prices and trade could be severely affected.

Australia is the fourth-largest wheat exporter, but the drought is causing crop failures, low yields and poor quality produce, which is affecting global wheat prices.

The drought conditions are spilling into other states, too. Queensland is suffering similar drought conditions, South Australia has just endured its second-driest autumn on record and dry conditions have also been experienced in Victoria.

But what some have described as the worst drought in living memory, actually isn’t – so far at least. The drought that ravaged almost half of Australia’s agricultural land between 1997-2005 is cited as being the most devastating.

The hottest year on record

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration point to the fact that the Earth is heating up, declaring 2016 the hottest year since records began 137 years earlier, breaking the record for the third year in a row.

According to the Economist, the global number of natural disasters is increasing.

Among the five risks with the biggest likelihood of impacting the world in the coming 10 years, the Global Risk Report 2018 lists three environmental threats. Extreme weather, natural disasters and failure to combat the effects of climate change quickly enough, sit beneath weapons of mass destruction as the number one danger facing humanity.

Planet earth is now 1.1℃ hotter than pre-industrial levels. G20 Financial Stability Board chairman, Mark Carney states, “Once climate change becomes a clear and present danger to financial stability it may already be too late to stabilize the atmosphere at two degrees.”

Accelerating change

Some observers believe that the human response to climate change needs more dynamism. Johan Rockström, executive director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, calls for our approach to move from taking incremental steps to demonstrating exponential action.

“Staying below 2°C above pre-industrial levels means halving emissions of greenhouse gases every decade if we want a high probability of success,” Rockström says. “We call this exponential pathway the Global Carbon Law, inspired by Moore’s Law in the IT industry – the observation that computers double in speed about every two years.”

This approach takes the distant aim of achieving carbon neutrality by a 2050 deadline, and turns it into a short-term focus for the coming decade: A timescale more relevant for businesses, organizations and countries to focus on and deal with the urgency of climate change.

It also makes the task of cutting greenhouse gases achievable. Most businesses are capable of halving their emissions decade by decade. Companies like Google, Apple and Intel are reducing their emissions at a faster rate.

The future impact of climate change can often be difficult to conceptualise – but if the current trend of rising temperatures continues, farmers in New South Wales will almost certainly find droughts like the one affecting them this year become increasingly common.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “You just don’t know if the oil price will be 20$ or 100$ in the next 2-3 years!” top Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff underscores from Davos

Trump systematically upsets global order and trade: Where does this end?

Privacy is a human right, we need a GDPR for the world: Microsoft CEO

UN mobilizes in Rohingya camps to support babies born of rape; young mothers face stigma

European Citizens’ Initiative: A game of much publicity and one big lie

Why are wildfires getting worse?

Is the energy industry meeting its sustainability goals?

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

UN postal agency ‘regrets’ US withdrawal

United States: UN human rights office welcomes California moratorium on death penalty

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Transport Industry Drive for Improved Energy Efficiency and Electro-Mobility to Stem High Growth of Emissions

Vaccines: from miracle to possible danger

EU Commission: Germany can make Eurozone grow again just by helping itself

Pharmaceuticals: Commission refines intellectual property rules

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

Tools of asset development: Renewable Energy Projects case

Three ways Finland leads the world – and education isn’t one of them

The European giant tourism sector in constant growth

Global economy to see ‘steady’ growth of three per cent in 2019 despite risks, says UN

Eurogroup asked to reduce public debts of its member states

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

Latin America’s cities are ready to take off. But their infrastructure is failing them

EU regional differences betray an unjust arrangement

Trade war or not New York bankers will have it their way

Women-Friendly Spaces for Rohingya refugees: A place for protection and care

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The ‘abuse of food relief in Yemen’ must end now

Council’s position on Visa Directive a step back for young people’s mobility

Gaza: deadly violence continues to escalate, top UN officials work to restore calm

UN chief condemns attack targeting international forces in northern Mali

Creating shared value: an opportunity and challenge for entrepreneurship

‘Proving our worth through action’: 5 things Guterres wants the UN to focus on in 2019

Congrats to the #FutureofMalta: a new age of voting

Encouraging progress made in 2018, in ‘zero tolerance’ effort to end sexual exploitation and abuse across UN

Are you breathing plastic air at home? Here’s how microplastics are polluting our lungs

Europe’s top court hears Intel and sends € 1.06 bn antitrust fine to review

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

This surgeon runs a makeshift hospital for over 200,000 people

Berlin wants to break South’s politico-economic standing

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

Why today’s leaders need to know about the power of narratives

Vaccinations and the movement of anti-vaccers

Scientists are growing meat on blades of grass

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

London wants to treat violent crime like a disease

Want more climate action? Let’s show how good a planet-friendly life can be

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

Top envoy to Yemen praises ‘flexibility’ of chief negotiators as new UN mission chief is named

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

US-North Korea summit in Singapore ‘a promising development’ says Guterres

My unlimited China

Safer products: stepping up checks and inspections to protect consumers

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] The entire Australian state of New South Wales is in drought  The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s