The actions recommended in a report released by the Climate Change Authority on how Australia should deliver on its international climate commitments are woefully inadequate, the Climate Council said today.
Accepting Australia’s current 2030 emissions reduction targets rather than the action required to limit global warming to less than two degrees means the report’s recommendations will not protect Australians from dangerous climate change, the Climate Council’s Professor Will Steffen said.
“According to the Climate Change Authority’s own figures, under Australia’s current emissions reductions targets we will have used 84% of the carbon budget required to stay below 2C of warming by 2030,” he said.
“This would mean that we would have another 3.5 years of emissions at the 2030 rate before Australia would have totally decarbonised, which is obviously impossible.
“Even the most simple analysis of their own data shows that our targets for 2030 are a nonsense in terms of the carbon budget.
“Australia’s current emissions reduction targets are not consistent with our international commitment. Australia has pledged, along with the rest of the world, to do everything possible to limit global warming to less than two degrees and this report should reflect that commitment, not Australia’s current, woefully inadequate climate policy.”
Chief councillor Professor Tim Flannery said it was very concerning that the Authority’s ability to provide independent advice to the government appeared to have been undermined.
“The government first tried to abolish the Climate Change Authority and then appointed members to the authority with no scientific expertise,” he said.
“It seems very peculiar that this report ignores the authority’s own target recommendations made a year ago.
“It is vital that Australia’s climate response be grounded in the best available science and yet at every turn, avenues for independent, science-based advice are being undermined.
“Australians are already feeling the impacts of climate change. Hot days have doubled, heatwaves are becoming hotter and longer and extreme weather events are increasing.
“The actions recommended in this report are out of step with the science and won’t put Australia and the world on the path to staying below a 2°C rise in global temperature.
”We look forward to the minority report set to be published by two Authority members next week and hope it will better reflect the science.”
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