Media release

Stepping up: Young Australian Farmers Tackle Climate Change in Paris

The next generation of Australian farmers are stepping up to the challenge of climate change by taking their concerns straight to Paris.

2015 Young Farmer of the Year Anika Molesworth and NSW Farmers’ Association Young Farmer Council Chair Josh Gilbert will travel to the UN Climate Convention in Paris next month to ensure Australia’s agricultural community has a voice at the negotiating table.

The entrepreneurial duo has launched a crowd funding campaign to support the trip, which will not only include the Convention and 11th Conference of Youth in Paris, but will also enable them to travel to learn from pioneering farmers in Europe already adapting by moving away from fossil fuels and embracing renewables.

Anika and Josh hope their initiative will put pressure on the Australian government to show more leadership on the issue of climate change, and raise awareness of the enormous challenges faced by Australian farmers and their communities.

“My family’s sheep farm is located in Broken Hill, where temperature extremes and droughts are having devastating impacts upon production,” Anika said.

“It is both heartbreaking to see our land become drier and hotter each year with global warming, and infuriating that climate change issues are not being addressed in the serious and urgent matter that is required,” said Anika Molesworth.

Similarly, Josh Gilbert was inspired to act after years of family hardship on their cattle property in Nabiac.

I remember sitting at the dining table with my Great Grandmother who used to assure my Grandfather, Dad and I that the tough weather conditions were just a cycle. After several years of relying on this argument, there came a time when we all had to accept that the climate was changing.”

Representing those responsible for managing 60% of Australian land, Josh and Anika are on the frontlines of climate change impacts and see it as their duty to find solutions farmers can implement back home.

“Anika and I come to Paris with fresh eyes and a fierce desire to create change. We are the first generation to really understand the impacts of climate change and the last generation able to do something about it.”

“We know that today farming is a responsibility not a right and we must be part of the climate change solution.”

Josh and Anika will depart for Paris in late November and will return mid December 2015. To support their campaign, visit www.startsomegood.com/youngfarmers.

 

Media: For interviews, photographs or further details contact  Sarah Thompson at Climate Media Centre, [email protected]au 0420 892 450.