17/05/2019

62 Experts Urge Next Parliament to Make Climate Action a Top Priority

Australia Institute

Scientists and experts say the next government will need to prioritise action on climate change.
To the Next
Parliament of Australia
Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are rising, moving the country further away from its Paris Agreement obligations.
Whichever party wins government on Saturday, urgent action on climate change must be a top priority for the 46th Parliament of Australia.
The consequences of climate change are already upon us; including harsher and more frequent extreme weather, destruction of natural ecosystems, severe property damage and a worldwide threat to human health.
Australia Institute research shows current emission reduction targets are incompatible with the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement that aims to hold the rise in global temperature to 1.5°C and no more than 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels.
The solutions are all available to address climate change, all that is missing is the political will.
62 scientists and experts have signed an open letter to the next Parliament of Australia, calling for whichever party that wins Government this Saturday to make urgent action on climate change a top priority for the 46th Parliament of Australia.
Prominent signatories of the open letter include: Nobel Prize winners Professor Peter Doherty AC and Dr. Sue Wareham OAM, former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley AC, former Chief Scientist for Australia Professor Penny Sackett and many of Australia’s leading scientists from disciplines including climate change, health, economics, energy, and finance, including Professor Hilary Bambrick, Professor Will Steffen and Professor Barbara Norman.
“Australia is failing when it comes to addressing climate change and whichever party wins government this Saturday needs to make urgent action on climate change a top priority for the next Parliament of Australia,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.
“However you assess the fairness of a country’s emissions reduction target: by population, economic cost, or a combination, Australia Institute analysis shows Australia’s current reduction target is unambitious, unfair and irresponsible.
“The Government is relying on the climate outlier advice of Brian Fisher to terrify Australians about the alleged cost of climate action, while Australians struggle to deal with the very real costs of climate inaction.
“Climate change is an enormous threat to the security and wellbeing of all Australians. Climate change is already increasing the frequency of fires, floods and drought, as well as serious health impacts. Climate change is already a major threat to key industries, including agriculture and tourism and is already costing Australians billions of dollars every year, and will continue to rise unless we act.
"Beginning with my time as Australia’s Chief Scientist, I have made it my life’s work to push governments to listen to the science,” said Professor Penny Sackett, former Chief Scientist for Australia.
“Australians have paid dearly for the chain dragging of previous governments on climate action: we are now in a climate crisis.
“The next Australian Government must take the immediate and drastic action required to keep global warming on the safer side of 2 degrees. The time is not 2050, or even 2030. The time is now.”



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