The science is in Media Release

Aug 03, 2007 - 5:52am

The most significant scientific report on climate change ever produced was released in Paris overnight. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that global warming is unequivocal and most of it is being driven by the burning of coal, oil and gas.

“Climate change is a reality, but bold action from governments can limit future climate change and reduce its impact on Australia,” Mr Erwin Jackson, advisor to the Climate Institute said.  “The problem is clear but so are the clean energy solutions such as wind farms, solar panels and cleaning up fossil fuels.”

“The government has to roll up its sleeves and commit today to implement a clean energy plan that will ensure all Australia’s new electricity generation comes from clean energy sources. Beginning the switch to clean energy now is the only effective way to turn the tide on rising greenhouse pollution.”

“Australia is blessed with abundant clean energy resources and could be a world leader in tackling climate change. The Government should join the global clean energy boom by introducing strong climate change laws, ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and legislating price signals to reward business for investment in clean energy technologies.”

The Climate Institute has released a summary of what the IPCC projections mean for Australia as well as a state by state analysis of Queensland, NSW, Canberra, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Unless action is taken to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions the IPCC project the world will warm by between 1-6oC by 2100. Projected impacts include:

  • Less than 1oC: 4-25% increase in very high/extreme fire danger days in south-east; Droughts in NSW become 70% more frequent and widespread
  • 1-2oC:  Murray-Darling river flows fall by 10-25%; Melbourne water supply falls 7-35%
  • 2-3oC: 3,185-5,185 more heatwave deaths a year in major population centres; 15-70% increase in very high/extreme fire danger days in south-east
  • Greater than 3oC: Flow in the Murray-Darling Basin falls 16-48%; Distribution of Great Barrier Reef species shrinks by 95%
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