Climate target bad for reef
THE Federal Government has recently announced their 2030 carbon emissions reduction target of 26-28%. Pathetic but not surprising. The Federal Government is wedded to the fossil fuel industry, in particular, coal.
This cosy relationship will cost Australia dearly both at home and abroad. There is global agreement that all nations must jointly ensure the planet does not warm past two degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
Even that ceiling is now considered dangerously high with 1.5 degrees considered a safer limit.
The first and most important test of the government’s target is whether it is in line with this limit. The answer is a resounding “no”.
It is consistent with warming of three to four degrees. That gives it a “fail” on the most basic test.
Importantly, that test can mean the difference between avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change and allowing them to happen. GBRMPA puts climate change as the greatest threat to the reef.
The Abbott Government’s current climate policy will quite likely cost us the reef.
The government’s weak target also keeps Australia in the embarrassing and unpalatable position of being the highest per person carbon polluter in the OECD. That is the case now and it will still be the case in 2030 with the current target. Not good enough. The government still has the chance to be responsible about climate change and strengthen this target. It can be done at the Paris climate change conference at the end of the year. Now is the time for everyone who cares about leaving a liveable Australia for coming generations to lift their voices and let the Government know that this matters.
It’s not that Australia can’t afford to do something about this. In fact, we can’t afford not to. Our future depends upon a healthy climate. And the longer we leave serious action, the harder it will be. Beverley Fontes Airlie Beach