Chair of Voices of Groom, Meredith King, is urging local leaders to be factoring ways to reduce carbon emissions into every decision from this point forward.
“The report tells us that world-wide, temperatures have already increased 1.09 degrees since 1910, and Australia is even worse, with land area temperature averages increasing by 1.4 degrees Celsius.“
"This is worse than we expected, and terrible news for the Toowoomba region, which even before this report was published was expected to be one of the worst Australian regions affected by climate change,” she said.
“The IPCC report is a stark warning that if we further delay action, we are heading for ecological, social and economic hardship in this region – the Pechey bushfire was the ‘announcement’ of local climate change effects, and what’s happening in the rest of the world right now with floods and bushfire are confirmation”.
Miss King said the Australian 2019-2020 bushfires, which started in July 2019, cost the Australian economy insured damage of $5.4 billion, even before the impact of the loss of 35 people is factored in (1), and has resulted in almost doubling of insurance premiums for some residents and farmers along the Range in the past 10 years.
“For eastern Australia, the IPCC report contains projections of reductions of cool season rainfall and more extreme rainfall events. We are heading into a picture of even more severe and prolonged droughts if we get to 2 degrees of warming. “
"This is directly going to affect Toowoomba – our biggest regional employer is Health, and we are going to see drastic health effects that come with heatwaves and the mental health effects of drought and other climate-generated disasters.“
"We are also heavily reliant on agriculture as a base industry – the flow-on effects of reduced agricultural income will affect agricultural and general retail, property and boarding school education in Toowoomba."
Miss King said Voices of Groom members were frustrated by the lack of integrated planning by governments for the effects of climate change on the Darling Downs.
“This report shows that everyone needs to take action now.”
Statista. 2020. Economic loss from natural disaster events globally from 2000 to 2020 [Online]. Hamburg, Germany: Statista. Available: https://www.statista.com/statistics/510894/natural-disasters-globally-and-economic-losses/