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Early Start to Official Bushfire Season in Lismore Warning of what to Expect Under a Changing Climate

MEDIARELEASE 25th July 2018: The current climatic conditions that have prompted an early start to the official start of bushfire season in Lismore, Kyogle and the Richmond Valley on August 1 are a warning of the increased severity and frequency of extreme weather under climate change, according to the NSW Greens.

According to the NSW Government’s North Coast Climate change snapshot:

  • Average and severe fire weather days are projected to increase in Spring and Summer;
  • The number of hot days will increase;
  • Maximum regional temperatures are projected to increase in the near future by 0.4 – 1.0°C; and
  • Maximum regional temperatures will increase by up to 2.4°C by 2070.

Greens Candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson said climate action and building community resilience to the impacts of global warming are key issues for the local community and she would make it a real priority if elected in March next year.

“In the north of NSW we will experience up to 10 additional days above 40 degrees each year by 2030, rising to 33 additional days by 2070. This will lead to increased crop failure and present the higher potential for animal deaths. The announcement of the early start to our bushfire season is as predicted, that we will have longer and more intense bushfire seasons. All of this will accelerate biodiversity loss and will have a significant impact on food security.

“Changes in our climate are happening more quickly than previously thought and there is increased urgency for climate action and adaptation. It is alarming that Governments continue to short-change investment in climate action, including renewable energy, in NSW,” Ms Higginson said.

“We’re living with climate disruption now. Every day the NSW Government delays or under invests in action causes risk to people, communities and our environment.

“This NSW Liberal/National Government record when it comes to climate action is appalling. NSW has no credible plan or adequate funding to reach the State’s goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, it continues to invest in coal like there is no tomorrow and remains one of the largest coal exporting regions anywhere in the world.

“The community overwhelmingly supports renewable energy as a better way to power our future society and economy.

“We have the technology, we have the tools and the know-how. The NSW Government and the Nationals here in the Northern Rivers need to get out of the way for political leaders who will support the community and deliver a renewable-powered future.

“The Greens will work in the community to build the movement that delivers climate action and transitions our economy and society to 100% renewables, as soon as we can” she said.

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