Oct 27, 2016 - 8:30am
Today’s State of the Climate report
from CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology shows Australia is being put at risk
by those who cling
to the energy systems of the past, said The
Climate Institute today.
“This report shows Australia’s national
interest in climate action is clear,” said John Connor CEO of The Climate
Institute. “We must manage the risks and grasp the opportunities of
increasingly accessible modern, smart and clean technologies that can help
avoid growing climate costs.”
“The biggest immediate risk to Australia is
quickly becoming those who prefer to cling to the energy systems and politics
of the past.”
Some key facts from the biennial State of the
Climate report include:
has warmed by around 1°C since 1910.
number of days per year over 35°C has increased in recent decades, except in
parts of northern Australia.
has been an increase in extreme fire weather, and a longer fire season, across
large parts of Australia.
growing season rainfall has reduced by around 11 per cent since the mid-1990s
in the continental southeast of Australia.
overwhelming contribution to the additional CO2 in the atmosphere is from
human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels.
atmospheric CO2 increases in 2015 were the highest ever observed.
In August, The Climate Institute released research on the implications
for Australia of the 1.5°C and 2°C
warming, goals agreed in the bipartisan backed Paris Agreement. That research
showed warming of 1.5°C would see current extreme heat
waves, droughts and mass coral bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef
becoming the new normal. At 2°C, our global climate system would move from the
upper end of present day climate variability into uncharted territory,
resulting in extreme, costly and dangerous impacts for Australia
“Two days ago the International Energy Agency
has released a report, highlighting the
global surge in renewable energy capacity transforming global energy systems. On
November 4, the Paris Agreement – the framework for global action towards achieving net zero
emissions – comes into force after the quickest ratification of any
similar international treaty in history.”
“Yet the Australian government is struggling to
develop a plan that integrates strong climate action with inclusive economic
and social strategies for the inevitable switch to clean energy and a net zero
“To help avoid the growing human, economic and
environmental costs of climate change, Australia should set a credible pathway
to net zero emissions before 2050 and have a plan to ensure business, investor
and community confidence in clean energy. It also needs to integrate the costs
and opportunities of climate change into mainstream decision making.
government’s 2017 review of policies and consideration of post 2030 targets
offers an opportunity for the government to look forwards not backwards to the
real opportunities and risks of the climate challenge.”
NB Australia’s Joint Standing
Committee has been considering the Paris agreement ratification and should put
Australia in a position to ratify before or at the Marrakesh convention of the
parties (COP) from 7 to 19 November. John Connor will be attending those talks and a pre-COP Briefing paper will be out later next week.
Luke Menzies ● Communications
0433 889 844 or 02 8239 6299