In response to the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, Climate change 2021: The physical science basis, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s climate change program manager, Gavan McFadzean, said:
“The world’s top climate scientists have issued their starkest warning yet about the need for urgent action to avert a global climate catastrophe.
“The IPCC says human actions have impacted our entire climate system and still have the power to determine the future course of climate changes.
“For Australia, the forecast is for more heatwaves, more intense, frequent and longer bushfire events, more marine extremes—and the scientists make these forecasts with a high level of confidence.
“Parts of Australia will face more heavy rainfall and flooding, more agricultural and ecological drought, increasingly severe cyclones and significant changes to shorelines.
“This report reconfirms carbon dioxide as the biggest driver of global warming and says other climate pollutants, such as methane gas, must also be reduced as quickly as possible.
“These projections are a stark warning and must act as a wake-up call to all politicians.
“If the rest of the world follows in Australia’s climate policy footsteps, the planet and all its inhabitants face a catastrophic future.
“In many cases, those least responsible will bear the greatest burden, such as our Pacific Island neighbours, who face an existential threat from sea level rise.
“The Morrison government’s gas led recovery has no place to hide after these findings. It must be replaced by an urgent transition to renewables for our domestic use and exports.
“Scott Morrison’s refusal to commit to a net zero target—and instead just hope for the best— flies in the face of this imminent threat.
“Australia’s fair share means we must cut our climate pollution by more than two-thirds in the next decade and reach zero emissions in 15 years; 2050 is too late.
“Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal and gas with renewable energy. We mustn’t get distracted by dangerous nuclear and the pipe dream of carbon capture and storage.
“We have abundant clean energy, tools and talent to do the job, but we cannot delay any longer.”