A new report released today, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis, is a stark reminder of the urgency of acting on climate change. 

The world’s top climate scientists have issued their strongest ever warning: burning fossil fuels is causing irreversible damage to the climate.

Download the IPCC report.

The world’s scientists have found that unless there are immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, limiting warming to close to 1.5°C or even 2°C will be beyond reach.

This report confirms as well as carbon dioxide, methane gas is a major driver of climate damage and must be reduced as quickly as possible.

Parts of Australia will face more more land and marine heatwaves, more intense, frequent and longer bushfire events, more heavy rainfall and flooding, more drought, increasingly severe cyclones and significant changes to our shorelines. 

The report confirms that the role of human actions in driving climate change is indisputable, but also finds that human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate change. 

Australia’s fair share of action means we must cut our climate pollution by 75% in the next decade and reach zero emissions in fifteen years. 2050 is too late.

In response to this warning, ACF is calling for action from the federal government: Australia needs stronger targets and plans to cut greenhouse gas pollution this decade. 

We have world class wind and solar resources and an opportunity to capitalise on these assets as the world shifts to zero emissions electricity, transport and industry. 

Australia hasn’t strengthened its woefully inadequate 2030 target of 26-28% since it was announced by the Abbott Government more than five years ago. At the government’s current rate we won’t achieve the cuts we need until 2170.

As one of the biggest exporters of coal and gas, the action Australia takes makes a big difference.

This report is a wakeup call for Australia, we need to rapidly shift our energy from polluting coal and gas this decade. 

Every fraction of a degree of global warming we prevent will save lives and create a safer and healthier future for all of us.

Australians want to see the federal government do much more to secure a safe and liveable climate into the future.

We’ve seen the Australian community, business, state and local governments embrace climate action. It’s now time for the federal government to do their part too. Every fraction of a degree matters, every action matters.

Five big actions political and corporate leaders need to take

  1. Send our sunshine around the world - Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal, gas and uranium exports and use with renewable energy. We have plentiful sun and wind. A valuable export industry that secures and creates great jobs through manufactured products like green hydrogen, steel and aluminium, is within our reach.
  2. Create energy independent communities - Power schools, hospitals, government offices, public and social housing, remote Indigenous communities, sporting clubs, halls and libraries with affordable, clean energy by 2025, and replace coal and gas-burning power stations with renewable energy and storage by 2030. 
  3. Travel clean - Take pollution out of transport. Save our health and climate with more accessible buses and trains running on clean energy; make electric vehicles cheaper; and install electric vehicle charging stations across the country.
  4. Move the money - Banks and super funds must move our money from funding polluting coal, gas and nuclear projects to clean renewable powered industries and jobs. Political parties must stop accepting dirty donations and giving public funding to coal and gas companies and ban big political donations to reduce their influence on decision making.
  5. Save our big backyard - Create strong national nature protection laws that stop Australia’s worsening extinction crisis, and support nature as a climate solution. New laws must be enforced by an independent regulator. Our forests, wetlands and bushlands store greenhouse gases, provide homes for our unique animals and birds, and are places where people restore and revive.

Email your MP today and demand they do more to secure a safe and liveable future for all of us.

Header: Rich Carstensen

Suzanne Harter

Climate Change Campaigner