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The Climate Council recommends the following:
- The Western Australian Government should begin its process of setting emissions reduction targets not by prorating the unjustified, unjustifiable and unscientific target of the Federal Government, but through an analysis of what is necessary for the state to play its part in limiting risks to its own citizens.
- The Government should commission independent, expert-led advice covering the following issues:
a. The impacts of climate change on Western Australia and the consequences of a failure to limit global temperature increases to internationally-agreed goals.
b. The remaining greenhouse gas emissions budgets in line with a global emissions budget these internationally-agreed goals, and equitable allocations of global emissions budget for the state.
c. Necessary pathways, at a sectoral level, that meet those pathways.
d. Opportunities for a state with world-beating renewable resources in the low-carbon future.This advice should be led by the scientific community and be based on the best available scientific evidence. This includes the most recent special reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the considerable material that has been published recently in preparation for the IPCC’s sixth assessment report.
- This analysis should focus on the State playing its part in the global effort to hold temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial temperatures, while pursuing efforts to limit 1.5°C. It should not do so because the state is a signatory to the Paris Agreement—of course it is not—but because this global goal has been shown by the IPCC to be a point beyond which the impacts of climate change will be impossible to bear for a state that is so vulnerable to climate change.
- Whatever goal is settled upon, the Government plan for a transition. This transition can represent a net gain, in the case of an ambitious transition to a low carbon economy using Western Australia’s worldbeating renewable resources to create substantial economic opportunities. Alternatively, it can be a transition to the manage dramatic impacts to the lives and livelihoods of Western Australians as it is hit by a string of climate change-induced crises as the state heats up and dries out.
- The consequences of the Government’s choices should be transparently and completely communicated with the Western Australian public in a manner which allows the Western Australian population to plan for either the ambition of the Western Australian Government—and inevitable rewards—or the total failure of the Government—and inevitable impacts.