Aussie farmer sends message to G20 attendees

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Next week, the leaders of the 20 biggest national economies will meet in the north-eastern Australian city of Brisbane. Climate change will not be on the agenda of the meeting, at the behest of Australia’s conservative government.

However a farmer in the host state Queensland has taken matters into his own hands carving a vast crop circle-type message into his fields. Local farmer Rob McCreath made the agrarian “Go Solar” statement as he argues Australian farmers are severely affected by climate change.

“Last year was our hottest on record, this one’s shaping up to be even worse, and we’ve got a raging drought over a vast area,” said McCreath, in reporting from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “In spite of the overwhelming scientific evidence, our idiotic politicians are hooked on coal and gas, which is the cause of the problem.” McCreath argues that solar is a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

“We have huge reserves of sunshine, so making use of it is simply a matter of common sense,” said McCreath. “Our Government’s reluctance to do so is an international embarrassment. Unlike coal, solar power really is good for humanity because it can provide the clean energy needed to lift people out of poverty across the world, without stuffing up the climate even more.”

The ABC reports that McCreath is a member of the group Friends of Felton, which has campaigned against a coal mine being established in the area.

Australia has taken addressing climate change off the agenda of G20 meetings, which will take place on the 15th and 16th of November. The ABC reports Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop has argued that not all issues can be raised at the G20.

“We must prioritize issues where there is consensus within the G20 on taking action," said the foreign minister. "All G20 members agree that the United Nations framework convention on climate change is the right forum with the right mandate for international climate change negotiations.”

The Australian federal government’s efforts to water down its Renewable Energy Target (RET) and abolish supporting agencies the CEFC and ARENA have been stalled in the Senate. It is currently hoping to negotiate a compromise that will see the progress of such legislation with the opposition Labor party.