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Australians warned to prepare for a food supply crisis

Australians are warned to prepare for a food supply crisis that could see even more empty supermarket shelves

  • Report warns Australia is unprepared for food crisis caused by climate change
  • Aussie shoppers expect to see more empty supermarket shelves in the future
  • Sea level rise and planet warming will affect Australia’s national food chain
  • Report warns federal government is ‘ill-prepared’ for worsening food shortages

A new report has warned that Australia is “unprepared” for a growing food crisis brought on by global warming and the war in Ukraine.

Australia and the Asia-Pacific region have been described as a “disaster zone” for climate change, and the report says the government is “ill-prepared” for the crisis.

The Australian Security Leaders Climate Group predicts that global warming will cause crop production to decline by 2040 and endanger water supplies.

The grim forecasts have prompted former military leaders to urge Australia to prepare for “major impacts” on the food supply.

A new report has warned that Australia is 'unprepared' for a growing food crisis caused by global warming and the war in Ukraine (pictured, a Sydney shopper in Coles)

A new report has warned that Australia is ‘unprepared’ for a growing food crisis caused by global warming and the war in Ukraine (pictured, a Sydney shopper in Coles)

Australian Security Leaders Climate Group report says a warming planet will decrease crop production (photo, flooding in Goodna, west of Brisbane in February)

Australian Security Leaders Climate Group report says a warming planet will decrease crop production (photo, flooding in Goodna, west of Brisbane in February)

The effects of extreme heat waves and sea level rise will have ‘enormous consequences’ for Australia, the report says.

It warns that global warming will impact the national supply chain, exacerbate geopolitical tensions and increase the need for disaster relief.

Former Australian Defense Chief Chris Barrie said food disruptions caused by a variety of factors would lead to further conflict.

“Food insecurity is a growing crisis that has been spotlighted by the invasion of Ukraine, and it’s a crisis that Australia is ill-prepared for,” Barrie said.

Former defense ministers said the invasion of Ukraine has put food insecurity in the spotlight (pictured, the aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Ukraine's Kremenchuk)

Former defense ministers said the invasion of Ukraine has put food insecurity in the spotlight (pictured, the aftermath of a Russian missile attack in Ukraine’s Kremenchuk)

Global warming is also threatening Australia’s farming systems as farmers on the east coast face major flooding and an unusually cold start to the season.

The report warns that the lack of a global response to climate change will put “great pressure on Australia’s defense forces and disaster relief agencies.”

Australian households have been warned that the recurrence of extreme weather events, such as the flooding on the east coast, will have unpredictable consequences for food production.

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves at their local supermarkets and prices to remain flat or perhaps even increase towards the end of the year.

As the cost of living continues in Australia, fresh food prices have come under the spotlight after rising above inflation.

Global warming also threatens Australia's farming systems as farmers on the east coast face a series of major floods (photo, Queensland floods in May)

Global warming also threatens Australia’s farming systems as farmers on the east coast face a series of major floods (photo, Queensland floods in May)

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves in their local supermarket and prices to remain flat or perhaps even increase towards the end of the year

Shoppers can expect to see more empty shelves in their local supermarket and prices to remain flat or perhaps even increase towards the end of the year

The price of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some East Coast supermarkets after an unusually cold start to the season and flooding.

The latest CPI figures show that the cost of fruit and vegetables increased by 6.7 percent in the March quarter compared to a year ago, with inflation at 5.1 percent.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has warned that inflation will “definitely exceed” 5.1 percent in the March quarter and get worse.

He said on the ABC show Insiders on Sunday: “Inflation will be significantly higher than what was expected in the last government’s most recent budget.

The price of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some East Coast supermarkets after an unusually cold start to the season and flooding

The price of an iceberg lettuce has skyrocketed to $12 in some East Coast supermarkets after an unusually cold start to the season and flooding

“Certainly higher than the 5.1 percent we saw in the March quarter.”

He added: “This inflation problem is going to get harder before it starts to subside.”

Most developed countries are experiencing high inflation, largely due to supply chain disruptions, the large amount of money printed during the Covid pandemic and high energy prices as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said climate change will be a major theme of the upcoming federal budget to be handed over in October.

Mr Albanese has pledged to launch a climate security threat assessment to examine how climate change will affect food, water and supply chains.

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