YESTERDAY’s release of the latest IPCC report puts pressure on Australia to accelerate efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, according to WWF-Australia.
WWF spokesperson Owen Pascoe said the IPCC report shows the world will need to cut emissions by around 70-95% by 2050 against 2010 levels to keep warming below 1.5 degrees. Developed countries like Australia will need to make deeper and earlier cuts.
“The IPCC has made it clear that we are on track for more than 2 degrees warming, which will have dire impacts not just for places like the Great Barrier Reef, but for all Australians and our economy,” Mr Pascoe said.
“But the report also shows that the solutions to climate change are ready to go now and will also benefit our health and energy security. With scaled-up investment in solutions like renewable energy and energy efficiency the world can get on the path to responsibly managing climate change risks.
“The IPCC has made it clear what the world needs to do – the question for Australia is now what sort of country are we going to be? Are we going to sit back and hope the United States, Europe and China will do the work to save our Great Barrier Reef and protect our country – or are we going to pitch in and do our fair share?
“International commitments currently on the table are not enough, and right now Australia is at the back of the pack with a minimum 5% reduction target by 2020. This is weaker than commitments made by the UK, the United States, New Zealand and others.
“Australia should commit now to at least a 25% reduction target for 2020.”
Mr Pascoe said the report also showed that the world needs to significantly reduce investment in fossil fuels and invest hundreds of billions more in clean renewable energy and energy efficiency.
“Renewable power gives consumers choice to manage their power bills. It also drives down wholesale electricity prices, and of course reduces carbon pollution,” he said.
“We’ve had three reports in the last 6 months from thousands of world leading scientists sending one clear message – climate change is happening and getting worse, but we have the solutions and must act now.”