The noble ambitions Australia has signed up to in the Paris climate agreement are not achievable with the federal government’s current suite of policies, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.
“The Paris agreement is hugely significant because for the first time in history nearly all the world’s countries have agreed to limit pollution and create a path towards a safer climate,” said the Australian Conservation Foundation’s CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“Global warming requires a global approach, so the signing of this agreement is a big step, but ultimately it’s only as good as the actions leaders take back at home.
“Unfortunately our federal government’s actions continue to underline its commitment to last century’s energy sources, especially coal.
“This government has abolished a working price on pollution, reduced the Renewable Energy Target, axed climate agencies and approved Australia’s biggest coal mine.
“The government’s Emission Reduction Fund places no restrictions on the biggest polluting companies and is unable to cut pollution at the scale required.
“If Adani’s Carmichael coal mine – approved by the Turnbull Government – goes ahead, the pollution from that single project will almost entirely wipe out Australia’s pollution reduction commitments in the Paris agreement.
“While the government signs the Paris agreement, huge sections of the Great Barrier Reef are bleaching beyond recognition because of abnormally warm waters.
“In this election year the federal government has a great deal of work to do if it wants to convince Australians that it is serious about protecting the Great Barrier Reef and safeguarding our climate.”
ACF is challenging the federal government’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael project on the basis that approving a massive pollution-producing coal mine is inconsistent with Australia’s international obligations to protect the World Heritage-listed Barrier Reef. The challenge will be heard in the Federal Court in Brisbane on 3 & 4 May.