Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s bushfire response fails the most critical test needed to safeguard Australians through longer, hotter, dryer summers – that is to rapidly cut the climate pollution that is fuelling global heating, the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) said in response to the PM’s address to the National Press Club today.
“No amount of resilience building or adaptation will prepare Australia for the full brunt of global warming of 3 degrees or more – which is the trajectory we are on,” said ACF climate change campaigner Suzanne Harter.
“Remember, this summer’s horror bushfire has happened off the back of 1 degree of heating.
“If serious action is not taken to tackle the root cause of climate damage – the digging up and burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas – the Federal Government will oversee a future of far worse bushfire seasons and more extreme weather events.
“Extracting and burning more gas, as the Prime Minister advocates, is not climate action.
“To keep digging and burning fossil fuels will condemn Australians to many more and worse bushfire seasons, more extreme heatwaves and harmful water shortages.
“Some economists estimate that when environmental and health costs are taken into account this year’s devastating bushfire season may cost the nation in excess of $100 billion.
“APRA, ASIC, the RBA, the IMF and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) all rate climate change as one of the greatest risks to the financial system and Australia’s economy.
“Even the Business Council of Australia supports net-zero emissions by 2050, which should calm the Prime Minister’s fears that a net-zero emissions target might hurt jobs.
“Downplaying Australia’s potential to be an international leader on cutting emissions is not climate action.
“We urge the Prime Minister not to blame other countries, not to hide behind adaptation measures, as important as they are, but to take rapid, real action to cut Australia’s climate pollution.”