Oxfam Australia has made a plea for urgent action, as the IPCC Synthesis report today highlights limiting warming to 1.5°C is on its last legs.
Quotes attributable to Lyn Morgain, Chief Executive, Oxfam Australia.
“This is, literally, the last chapter. The science shows that limiting global heating to 1.5°C is still possible —but only just. Unless we pull the emergency brake on deadly carbon pollution, ‘unheard-of’ heatwaves, storms, droughts and floods will continue to become more frequent and hit more places and more people. “People living in poverty are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis, including mass hunger happening now in Eastern Africa, due to the awful combination of drought and poverty.
“There’s only a sliver of a chance of limiting heating to 1.5°C but we can’t throw in the towel. Every fraction of a degree of heating prevented will be counted in millions of lives saved. Even a half-degree could make it much more difficult to grow crops, raise animals and catch fish for subsistence farmers across the world.
“It’s gob-smacking that after six massive IPCC reports, 27 climate change conferences, the eight hottest years on record, and year on year climate change fueled disasters, the Australian government continues to not only allow but subsidise the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
“Fossil fuel companies continue to rake in record billion-dollar profits off our county’s resources, while often paying no tax and providing little community benefit for the privilege. Moreover, they use their money and influence to hold back action to reduce climate pollution. It’s simply appalling.
“We urgently need to stop all new fossil fuel projects, end fossil fuel subsidies and introduce windfall profit taxes on these corporations. The revenue saved is desperately needed to fast-track our clean energy transition and to support communities here and in the Asia-Pacific to build resilience to the relentless climate change fueled disasters.
“To stay within the 1.5°C guardrail, every person on Earth must keep their emissions to 2.2 tons per year. Currently, the richest 1 percent exhaust their personal ‘carbon budget’ in just 12 days each year, while the poorest 50 percent of humanity emits less than half over an entire year. This inequality is indecent.
“We can tackle the climate crisis and end poverty. This is not an either or. If the richest 1 percent stopped squandering carbon on private jets, big polluting cars and investments in fossil fuels, the poorest half of humanity could get their basic needs met.
“We need funds for climate action and deep cuts to emissions —not just by the richest countries, but also by the wealthiest individuals and corporations.
“We no longer have time for empty pledges, greenwash and false solutions like fake carbon offsets. We need a whole of government focus on climate action before it’s too late.