A fourth-generation Quirindi district farmer has said a move by a Liberal MP to break ranks on climate change and emissions targets is "a very positive start".
Mixed farmer Jim McDonald - a member of Farmers For Climate Action - said NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean was "to be commended" for a reported plan to cut the state's carbon pollution by 35 per cent.
"Given the fact we've been laggards for a long, long time, any move in the right direction is a positive step and needs to be commended," Mr McDonald said.
Mr Kean said during an address to a Sydney energy summit on Tuesday, and reiterated in media interviews yesterday, that the state's severe bushfire situation was linked to climate change.
"We've got to stop making climate change a matter of religion and we've got to start making it a matter of science - and the science says that we need to reduce the impact of global warming by 2 degrees," he told ABC Radio.
"In order to do that, we need to get to net-zero emissions by 2050."
Mr McDonald said it was "the first step we've been missing in state policy in Australia - we're still missing it at a federal level".
"He's obviously broken ranks with a lot of his ideological colleagues - and that takes courage and that is a great thing.
"I suppose it was always going to get to the stage when the crisis became too great to ignore."
Mr McDonald said his own experience of climate change included summer temperatures "now three degrees warmer than what they have been - this is the fourth summer now it's been like that".
"We're starting to lose groundwater bores that have been quite stable for generations," he said.
"There's no growth, groundcover is disappearing, animals are starting to become distressed ... and I really feel for all those people facing the fires at the moment; it's a terrible situation to be in.
"It's obviously the result of a few things, but driven by increased heat and we just can't get away from the fact."