Regional and remote Australian communities are hoping to increase their resistance to the effects of climate change by readily adopting community energy. The Climate Council’s recent release of their Report titled “On the Frontline: Climate Change & Rural Communities” has explored the adaptability measures undertaken by rural communities.
The Report found the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, which are associated with climate change, are more likely to impact people living in rural regions. Events such as droughts, floods and bushfires are disproportionately impacting people in these regions. These impacts go beyond immediate environmental issues to include social well-being, health and economic problems.
Pre-existing issues like population decline and reductions in the availability of services are already negatively impacting the sustainability of rural areas and climate change will only exacerbate such issues. To prepare for some of the threats posed by climate change, rural communities are already working on adapting their businesses and homes.
Processes of adaption are slow. For example changes in the seasonal structure of harvest, the growth of new crops or changing produce completely. Although climate change is expected to damage livelihoods, it is also providing these communities with opportunities and incentives to preemptively restructure themselves.
Adaptive capabilities have been demonstrated in rural communities with large portions of renewable energy coming from rural areas. Additionally, engaging with renewables has created new jobs and encouraged green investments in these regions. Similarly, farmers have been combating the uncertainty of agriculture by diversifying their assets with renewable energy infrastructure on their properties. Community-owned energy is providing farmers with adaptable capabilities to combat climate change as well as reducing their reliance on inconsistent services in their areas.
Read the report in full here.
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