Jan 31, 2006

New report shows we can’t just cross our fingers with climate change

New report shows we can’t just cross our fingers with climate change

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

31 January 2006

A new UK Government report has warned the impact of climate change may be more serious than previously thought.

The Report titled “Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change” raises fears the Greenland ice sheets are likely to melt, leading to a devastating rise in sea levels. The Report warns of large-scale and irreversible disruption if temperatures rise by more than 3°C – well within the range of climate change projections for the century.

The Report warns that “delaying action now would require greater action later and that even a delay of 5 years could be significant."

Tragically, we have had a decade of inaction by the Howard Government. To make matters worse, reports today suggest the CSIRO is cutting renewable energy research at the very time it’s most needed.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that 2005 was the hottest year on record and that climate change was responsible. Temperatures are expected to continue to rise and extreme events are likely to become more frequent with climate change.

Climate change is a real and present danger to Australia, yet the Howard Government just crosses its fingers and hopes it will go away.

John Howard’s legacy is that Australia is unprepared for the dramatic impact of climate change.

Howard Government complacency has meant Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions rose by 23.3% between 1990 and 2003.

John Howard’s decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol has isolated Australia from international action against climate change.

Following the successful UN Climate Summit in Montreal, the course for future global action is now clear – mandatory fixed targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions over an extended timetable, with economic instruments driving the policy outcomes.

Australia must ratify the Kyoto Protocol and join with the rest of the world in taking action to avoid dangerous climate change.

For further information on the "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change" UK Report, see the BBC News website Stark warning over climate change, By Richard Black, Environment Correspondent

For the report in full see the DEFRA website, Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change – Scientific Symposium on Stabilisation of Greenhouse Gases