Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Nebraska Farmers Union prez says climate change must be taken seriously

Nov. 25, 2014

A report from the General Accounting Office says climate change could make the crop insurance program more vulnerable to potential losses.

Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen says the report is another example of why climate change needs to be addressed and taken seriously by both ag and non-ag interests.

“The GAO report is just one more indication we need to deal with the very real impact of too much carbon in our atmosphere,” Hansen says. “We’re just getting more variability, more volatility and more intensity in the weather patterns that already existed.”

The GAO report shows both the Risk Management Agency and FEMA showed an increase of 8% in potential losses for insured property between 2007 and 2013.

Hansen says there’s no doubt those impacts are still being felt.

“We’ve already seen very substantial changes in property and casualty losses, especially in the Midwest,” Hansen says. “As you study loss ratios and loss experiences and go through the actuarial tables, we’re already seeing an impact.”

Hansen says agriculture is in a good position to help battle the negative effects of climate change by storing and utilizing carbon credits.

He says, “While we emit about 8% of all the carbon that’s emitted, we have the opportunity to store, if we modify how we produce and what we do, around 25 to 28% of all the carbon that’s in the atmosphere.”

The GAO report also indicated that climate change may substantially increase losses by 2040 and increase losses from about 50 to 100 percent by 2100.

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