Final IPCC Report shows we must reverse rising greenhouse pollution to avoid irreversible impacts Media Release

Nov 18, 2007 - 4:38am

In light of the latest report from the scientific community, The Climate Institute today urged both major political parties to commit to reverse rising greenhouse pollution levels within five years and help avoid dangerous global warming.

“The conclusions of the scientific community are clear, reverse rising pollution levels quickly or our children will inherit an Australia sweltering under dangerous climate conditions,” Said John Connor, Chief Executive of The Climate Institute. “Critically the report highlights that with decisive political action pollution levels can be reduced at an affordable cost and we can make the switch to clean energy.”

“A lack of leadership from our political leaders is the greatest barrier to leaving our kids a tolerable climate and growing economy based on clean energy..”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) synthesis report released in Spain overnight warns of “abrupt and irreversible” impacts but that the worst of these effects can be avoided if global pollution peaks before 2015. Developed countries like Australia will need take to the lead to achieve this.  But the report states that achieving this is affordable at a cost of less than 0.12% of annual global economic growth.

“All available economic research shows economic growth continues even with significant cuts to greenhouse pollution. The only real question that remains is whether Australia’s political leaders will heed the advice of the world’s scientists and economists and put in place a national plan to turn the corner of rising greenhouse pollution levels within five years.”

Recent polling conducted in marginal seats during the election campaign reveals the influence of climate change on voting intentions has grown to 73% from 62% since a similar poll in August this year. A majority of voters indicated they would be more likely to vote for a political party that showed leadership and set energy efficiency targets (72%); ensured all new electricity generation came from clean energy (70%); set greenhouse pollution reduction targets within five years (71%); and ratified the Kyoto Protocol (54%), with only 18% opposing it.

Earlier this week The Climate Institute released a report showing that even the dire projections of the IPCC may be underestimating the speed and extent of climate change impacts. “The window of opportunity for us to avoid leaving our children an inheritance of dangerous climate change is closing rapidly.”
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