Current climate plans are inadequate and the world must act quickly and dramatically if we are to secure a habitable climate for the future, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned in its last report until 2030, released overnight.
The IPCC’s latest synthesis report has found:
- Earth is likely to pass the Paris Agreement’s target to limit global heating to 1.5°C in the next decade – although it is possible to avert this.
- We are already seeing ‘increasingly irreversible losses’ to vital ecosystems.
- It is now or never for the world to take drastic action to avoid disaster.
“This new report from the world’s top climate scientists confirms climate change is devastating the world that sustains us all and it is accelerating, not being brought under control,” said ACF’s Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Damage will accelerate as temperatures rise, causing unprecedented costs to people, economies and the environment. Deeper and faster cuts to climate pollution are the only way to limit this.
“For Australians, the cost of climate inaction is being felt through devastating floods, coastal erosion, longer droughts and increasingly ferocious bushfires.
“Climate action in Australia needs to be much stronger and much more urgent.
“This report sends a clear and urgent message to the Australian Parliament – strengthen and pass the safeguard mechanism, then find a way to stop funding and approving new coal and gas projects in this term.
“The Albanese government should accept reasonable amendments proposed to strengthen the safeguard mechanism, so it becomes an effective tool for cutting emissions.
“ACF would like to see amendments that prioritise direct on-site emissions reduction, limit the use of offsets and place additional requirements on new coal and gas projects to make sure they do not blow the carbon budget.
“The safeguard mechanism is a start, not an end, to climate policy in Australia – it covers just 28% of Australia’s domestic emissions but the volume of emissions in the coal and gas Australia exports is far, far greater.
“There is absolutely no place for new or extended coal mines or gas projects in the third decade of the 21st century.
“Any true assessment of the climate impacts of new coal and gas mines – through our national environment law, for example – would show these proposals do not stack up environmentally.
“No matter where in the world our coal and gas is burnt, it exacerbates climate change, so we must end the unfettered approval and export of Australian coal and gas to the world.
“And May’s budget must draw a line in the sand on fossil fuel subsidies. Taxpayers should not be subsidising coal and gas in any way – these funds should be redirected into climate action.
“We’ve lost a decade to climate policy paralysis in Australia, we can’t afford to lose another second – every tonne of pollution matters.”
The next IPCC report will not be released until about 2030, meaning this one is effectively the last IPCC report while it is still possible for the world to hold global heating to 1.5°C.