Sep 29, 2008 - 11:42am
The Climate Institute today urged the Government to put scientific
evidence “front and centre” of negotiations over the detail of its
Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, following an open letter from
Australia’s leading climate scientists.
climate scientists are sending a clear, collective and urgent message to
Government that Australia risks dangerous climate change and that there
is no time for ‘soft starts’ or weak 2020 targets,” said Erwin Jackson,
Director, Policy and Research at the Climate Institute.
letter should serve to focus the minds of government and the community
on the urgent need for strong action at a time when some big polluters
have been seeking to overshadow the views of experts by serving up
inflated claims on costs of reducing emissions.”
Sixteen of the
countries leading independent scientists signed an open letter addressed
to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd urging him to adopt a target of reducing
Australian greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 per cent, off 1990
levels, by 2020 and to help build momentum toward a global deal at
international negotiations in Copenhagen next year.
that unless urgent decisive action is taken we “will leave Australians
with a legacy of economic, environmental, social and health costs that
will dwarf the scale of national investment required to address this
The scientists have also backed key findings
of Government’s independent climate change advisor and economist
Professor Ross Garnaut that it was in Australia’s best interests to
stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations at 450ppm or lower. They also
support Professor Garnaut’s conclusion that Australia would be the
“biggest loser” amongst developed countries from the impacts of
unmitigated climate change.
“The Government, Opposition and
business leaders face a stark choice. They can accept the clear warning
from the scientific community and adopt scientifically and
internationally credible targets to reduce emissions, and drive
multi-billion dollar investments in clean industries; or pander to the
scare mongering of the big polluters and put the well-being of hundreds
of millions of people at risk,” Mr Jackson said.
shone a light back on the key issues that we should all be focused on -
the devastating environmental and economic risks of inaction and the
pathway to an international agreement and securing a safe and prosperous
future for our children.”