Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label climate change. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 February 2019

How the National Party of Australia attempted to ruin Australia’s largest river system


IMAGE: Murray Darling Wetlands Working Group Ltd.

Former Accountant and banker, Nationals MP for New England (NSW) Barnaby Thomas Gerard Joyce was deputy Prime Minister of Australia from 18.2.2016 to 27.10.2017 and again from 6.12.2017 to 26.2.2018
.  He was also Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017 and returned as minister once more from 21.9.2015 to 27.10.2017.

This particular politician is likely to go down in history as one of the worst leaders that the National Party of Australia ever had.

The Northern Daily Leader, 9 February 2019:

BARNABY Joyce’s actions as water minister have been singled out and savaged in the royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the report suggesting he ignored the law.

The report pointed to an “ill-informed letter” from Mr Joyce to the South Australian water minister, as testament to the government’s lack of “any genuine commitment” to the goal of recovering 450 gigalitres of water for the environment.

The Leader has contacted Mr Joyce for an interview and is awaiting a response.
In the letter, Mr Joyce said he couldn’t see the water being recovered without “causing negative social and economic impacts to South Australian communities”.

“I cannot foresee [the other state governments] agreeing that the additional 450GL of water can be delivered without significant social and economic detriment,” he wrote.

The report said there was “no reliable evidence” to support Mr Joyce’s claim.

This is what the South Australian  Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission Report’s  Final Report (released on 29 January 2019) stated in part:

For a number of years neither the Commonwealth Government, nor New South Wales or Victoria, have had any genuine commitment to recovering the so-called 450 GL of upwater for enhanced environmental outcomes. The ill-informed letter from Mr Barnaby Joyce when he was Water Minister to his South Australian counterpart dated 17 November 2016 — written as though the actual definition of socio-economic impact in the Basin Plan did not exist — is testament to this…..

On commercial radio on 29 August 2018, Mr Joyce, the Commonwealth Government’s Special Drought Envoy — not a member of the Executive Council or a Minister of the State under either secs 62 or 64 of the Constitution respectively — suggested that environmental water held by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) should be used to ‘grow the fodder to keep the cattle alive’ during the course of the drought. He suggested that if this was not lawful, then the relevant legislation should be changed. This suggestion is not in the interests of the people who live and work in the Basin, nor in the interests of the broader Australian public, or that of the environment. It is contrary to the objects and purposes of the Water Act and Basin Plan. It is against the national interest. It has been rightly rejected by, amongst others, the MDBA and the CEWH. Adaptation to the challenges of a warmer and drier climate will require a vastly more sophisticated approach. That approach must be based on proper scientific research and analysis, as well as a basic level of common sense.

For example, in a letter dated 17 November 2016 from the then Commonwealth Minister for Agriculture and Water, Mr Barnaby Joyce, to the then South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Mr Ian Hunter, Minister Joyce said:
 If it was genuinely possible to put an additional 450 GL down the river without hurting people, then none of us would have a problem with it. The reality is that it will. South Australia’s default share of the 450 GL target is 36 GL. Does the South Australian Government have a plan for where this water would come from without causing negative social and economic impacts to South Australian communities? I believe that we are heading into an unprotracted (sic) and unsolvable stalemate, where the funding will stay on the books for a recovery that will be impossible to make in accordance with the legislative requirements — that the recovery must has (sic) positive or neutral social and economic outcomes
… My main concern is this — just as you have an understandable desire for one outcome, your colleagues in other states have an equally understandable desire for another regardless of what side of the political fence they are on. I cannot foresee them agreeing that the additional 450 GL of water can be delivered without significant social and economic detriment. The hard conversation has to happen about how we resolve this stalemate. I look forward to discussing it with you more at the Ministerial Council.

There is no reliable evidence before the Commission that would support the assertion in that letter that recovery of an additional 450 GL of water would have negative social and economic impacts, or that its consequence would be ‘hurting people’ either economically, socially, or otherwise. Minister Joyce offered no such evidence. Leaving that aside, Minister Joyce’s letter ignores the test of social and economic neutrality in sec 7.17(2)(b) of the Basin Plan. That is no trifling thing, as that section was (and still currently is) the law. The test is satisfied by participation, not the concept of ‘hurting people’. Leaving this also aside, the gist of the letter was such that the Commonwealth’s then position seemed to be that the recovery of 450 GL of upwater for South Australia’s environmental assets was unlikely….

Mr Hooper spoke of a shift in attitude, upon the appointment of the former Minister, Mr Barnaby Joyce, to the water portfolio, away from a holistic, whole of Basin approach to a focus on specific sites, namely Dirranbandi, St George, and Warren, and the economics of irrigated agriculture in those towns.

Mr Hooper recalled asking the MDBA for a socio-economic assessment of Aboriginal people in the Northern Basin to which the MDBA responded by offering to provide a more limited socio-cultural survey.182 Despite meeting with the MDBA, NBAN was unaware of the intention to reduce water recovery in the Northern Basin, which was only revealed once the proposed amendments were publicly released.183 Mr Hooper could not recall any explanation of how the toolkit measures could substitute for water so as to justify the 70 GL reduction in water to be recovered…..

In an interview with 2GB radio, the Commonwealth Government’s Special Drought Envoy and former Water Resources Minister, Mr Barnaby Joyce, said:

a national emergency requires emergency power. We have a large water resource owned by the government. It’s called the Commonwealth Environmental Water holder and it’s used to water environmental assets. In a national emergency, which is this drought, surely that water should be used to grow the fodder to keep the cattle alive to keep the cash flow in the town. When people say, ‘Oh well, the legislation won’t allow you to do that’. Well, change the legislation, that’s what we have a parliament for.

National Party once again proving that it is the party representing mining interests

Climate change denialism is alive and well in the National Party.....

The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 February 2019:

A Nationals MP's claim that the Land and Environment Court's decision to block a coal mine in his electorate reflected an "ideological position" and "smacked of judicial activism" has prompted a rival MP to accuse him of contempt of court.

After the court on Friday rejected Gloucester Resources' bid to open the Rocky Hill mine on the Mid North Coast because of "climate change impacts", Nationals MP for the Upper Hunter Michael Johnsen hopped on 2GB to vent his fury.

The show's host Chris Kenny said: "Here you have a judge in a NSW land and environment court saying that he's protecting the planet from global warming, from climate change".

Mr Johnsen replied: "They are taking an ideological position, again it smacks of judicial activism, and it has nothing to do with the merits of the proposal itself and I’m very, very disappointed."

Sunday, 10 February 2019

And now for some good news......



David Morris, CEO of EDO NSW: Our argument was based on science, economics and – we argued - the proper application of the law. The climate contention as a ground for refusing this mine was innovative; the first time climate change has been addressed this way in an Australian court using the concept of a carbon budget as its basis.
Like so many great ideas – its strength was its simplicity. While there was lots of necessary evidence and discussion about the carbon budget, geopolitical climate policy and Australia’s legal framework for climate change, ultimately our argument was simple:  if you accept the science, then the local legal framework compels you to refuse the mine because it’s clearly not in the public interest to increase emissions.
As Professor Steffen said “it’s one atmosphere, it’s one climate system, it’s one planet - and so we need to start thinking more carefully about the net effect of wherever coal is burnt, or oil or gas… The project’s contribution to cumulative climate change impacts means that its approval would be inequitable for current and future generations”. [EDO NSW, media release, 8 February 2019]

The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 2019:

When Planning Minister Anthony Roberts intervened a year ago to give a coal miner the unusual right to challenge its project's refusal in court, neither would have countenanced Friday's outcome.

Instead of settling the future of Gloucester Resources' controversial Rocky Hill coal mine near Gloucester, the NSW Land and Environment Court just cast a cloud over coal mining in general.

The miner had thought it was merely challenging the Department of Planning's rejection of the mine's impact on visual amenity in the bucolic valley around Gloucester.

Instead, the Environmental Defenders Office, acting for residents opposed to the mine, grabbed the opportunity to join the appeal.

In what EDO chief David Morris describes as a "delicious irony", the court got to hear about the project's detrimental impact on climate change and the town's social fabric - despite Gloucester Resources arguing such intervention would be a "sideshow and a distraction".

Future generations will wonder why it took so long for any court in the land to hear such evidence when considering a coal mine project.

But Justice Brian Preston didn't just allow the EDO to provide expert evidence of the role greenhouse gas emissions play in driving climate change. He also accepted it as part of the critical reasons to reject the mine. "The decision forms part of what is a growing trend around the world on using litigation to fight climate change," Martijn Wilder, a prominent climate lawyer from Baker & McKenzie, says. "While early on some of this litigation was not successful, increasingly it is."


Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7, 8 February 2019 judgment here.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Tweets of the Week



Friday, 1 February 2019

Scott Morrison and his cronies want to buy your vote ahead of the May 2019 Australian federal election


Despite there being a growing urgency to invest in the full range of climate change mitigation measures, in the face of evidence that it is going to take billions of dollars to step back from the developing environmental, social and economic disaster developing in the Murray-Darling Basin, regardless of constant cost cutting in the welfare sector leading to a fall in services for older Australians and those with disabilities, while all the while failing to confront a growing public debt which now stands at est. 679.5 billion, the Morrison Lib-Nats Coalition Government intends to try and buy votes ahead of the May 2019 federal election.

Brisbane Times, 28 January 2019:

The Morrison government is now more focused on protecting its electoral chances than the nation's finances with claims it is going on a pre-poll spending spree based on a short-term boost in tax collections.

Deloitte Access Economics said in a quarterly report out on Tuesday that Scott Morrison is looking to buy back disappointed voters, with the government sitting on $9.2 billion worth of tax cuts and handouts that were included in the December mid-year budget update but not announced.

Deloitte Access partner Chris Richardson said the government had promised $16 billion in extra spending and tax cuts in the past six months, the biggest short-term spend by a government since Kevin Rudd in 2009 in the depths of the global financial crisis.

He said with the budget in a reasonable condition on the back of strong global growth and a surge in company tax profits, the Morrison government had made a decision to woo back voters with taxpayers' cash.

"Of late, the government has been busily taking decisions that add to spending and cut taxes, thereby worsening the bottom line rather than repairing it," he said.
"After all, they've got the dollars to do it, they're behind in the polls and the election is just around the corner.

"That powerful combination of motive and opportunity means that the government's focus has shifted to shoring up its electoral standing rather than shoring up the nation's finances."

News.com.au, 24 January 2019;

Pensioners and some families could receive one-off cash payments from the Morrison government in a pre-election sweetener.

Senior advisers are looking at two one-off payments that could be included in the April 2 budget, the Australian Financial Review reported on Thursday.

If the government decides to go ahead with the plan, the payments could be distributed before the federal election, which is due by mid-May.

The first option is a one off handout to age pensioners and the second is a cash injection for families.

It’s believed the single payments would be aimed at luring those who won’t directly benefit from the Coalition’s $144 billion personal income tax cuts being phased in over the next six years.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Climate change denialism is alive and apparently thriving in 2019


One would expect this dodgy co-sponsorship from the likes of Facebook Inc, but Google and Microsoft do surprise.

Mother Jones, 22 January 2019:

Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have publicly acknowledged the dangers of global warming, but last week they all sponsored a conference that promoted climate change denial to young libertarians.

All three tech companies were sponsors of LibertyCon, the annual convention of the libertarian group Students for Liberty, which took place in Washington, DC. Google was a platinum sponsor, ponying up $25,000, and Facebook and Microsoft each contributed $10,000 as gold sponsors. The donations put the tech companies in the top tier of the event’s backers. But the donations also put the firms in company with some of the event’s other sponsors, which included three groups known for their work attacking climate change science and trying to undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Among the most notable was the CO2 Coalition, a group founded in 2015 to spread the “good news” about a greenhouse gas whose increase in the atmosphere is linked to potentially catastrophic climate change. The coalition is funded by conservative foundations that have backed other climate change denial efforts. These include the Mercer Family Foundation, which in recent years has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to right-wing think tanks engaged in climate change denialism, and the Charles Koch Institute, the charitable arm of one of the brothers behind Koch Industries, the oil and gas behemoth.

In the LibertyCon exhibit hall, the CO2 Coalition handed out brochures that said its goal is to “explain how our lives and our planet Earth will be improved by additional atmospheric carbon dioxide.” One brochure claimed that “more carbon dioxide will help everyone, including future generations of our families” and that the “recent increase in CO2 levels has had a measurable, positive effect on plant life,” apparently because the greenhouse gas will make plants grow faster.

In a Saturday presentation, Caleb Rossiter, a retired statistics professor and a member of the coalition, gave a presentation titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should There Be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?” In his presentation, Rossiter told the assembled students that the impact of climate change on weather patterns has been vastly exaggerated. “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency,” he said. “The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

He insisted that when he hears the news that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising, “I’m cheering!” That’s because, he said, carbon dioxide “is a fertilizer” that has made Africa greener and increased food production there, reducing human misery.

Rossiter also claimed that carbon dioxide emissions correlate with wealth and that the greenhouse gas “improves life expectancy” because poor countries that start burning fossil fuels have a more consistent power supply and can then clean up their water. “I’m happy when carbon dioxide is up, because it means poverty is down,” he declared.

“I come not to bury your carbon but to praise it,” he concluded.....

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Australian Water Wars 2019: how NSW rivers were running on 22 January


The news cycle is such that even the dire straits the Murray Darling Basin finds itself in, with regard to environmental, cultural and township water flow security, is already fading into the background.

If we let it do so then it will be business as usual for the Federal, Queensland, New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian governments and, it is business as usual which is causing an ecological crisis in Basin waterways.

This is a snapshot of an interactive map supplied by NSW Water showing river flows on Tuesday 22 January 2019.
Every red marker against a river or section of river indicates that at that point the flow was less than 20 per cent of the natural flow.

You will note that even the coastal rivers of Northern NSW are running at less than 20 per cent of their natural flow.

Along the length of the Darling/Barka River many points like Brewarrina, Bourke and Wilcannia recorded zero natural flow passing on 22 January.

This was also a day when land surface temperatures were still uncomfortably high, with parts of the Murray-Darling Basin predicted to reach temperatures of 42-45+ Celsius.


Remind your local MP that they still need to stand up and be counted when it comes to legislating measures to mitigate climate change and need to be persistent in demanding their political parties bite the bullet on water management reform.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Australia 2018: State of the Climate


Australian Bureau of Meteorology, State of the Climate 2018, December 2018:

“Australia's weather and climate are changing in response to a warming global climate. Australia has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910, with most warming since 1950. This warming has seen an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events and increased the severity of drought conditions during periods of below-average rainfall. Eight of Australia’s top ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2005.

The year-to-year changes in Australia’s climate are mostly associated with natural climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean and phases of the Indian Ocean Dipole in the Indian Ocean. This natural variability now occurs on top of the warming trend, which can modify the impact of these natural drivers on the Australian climate.

Increases in temperature are observed across Australia in all seasons with both day and night-time temperatures showing warming. The shift to a warmer climate in Australia is accompanied by more extreme daily heat events. Record-warm monthly and seasonal temperatures have been observed in recent years, made more likely by climate change.


Report at a glance

The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO play an important role in monitoring, analysing and communicating observed changes in Australia's climate.
This fifth, biennial State of the Climate report draws on the latest monitoring, science and projection information to describe variability and changes in Australia’s climate. Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.
These changes affect many Australians, particularly the changes associated with increases in the frequency or intensity of heat events, fire weather and drought. Australia will need to plan for and adapt to some level of climate change. This report is a synthesis of the science informing our understanding of climate in Australia and includes new information about Australia’s climate of the past, present and future. The science underpinning this report will help inform a range of economic, environmental and social decision-making and local vulnerability assessments, by government, industry and communities.

Key points

Australia

·         Australia's climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events.
·         Oceans around Australia have warmed by around 1 °C since 1910, contributing to longer and more frequent marine heatwaves.
·         Sea levels are rising around Australia, increasing the risk of inundation.
·         The oceans around Australia are acidifying (the pH is decreasing).
·         April to October rainfall has decreased in the southwest of Australia. Across the same region May–July rainfall has seen the largest decrease, by around 20 per cent since 1970.
·         There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s.
·         Rainfall has increased across parts of northern Australia since the 1970s.
·         Streamflow has decreased across southern Australia. Streamflow has increased in northern Australia where rainfall has increased.
·         There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia.

Global

·         Concentrations of all the major long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase, with carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations rising above 400 ppm since 2016 and the CO2 equivalent (CO2-e) of all gases reaching 500 ppm for the first time in at least 800,000 years.
·         Emissions from fossil fuels continue to increase and are the main contributor to the observed growth in atmospheric CO2.
·         The world’s oceans, especially in the southern hemisphere, are taking up more than 90 per cent of the extra energy stored by the planet as a result of enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations.
·         Global sea level has risen by over 20 cm since 1880, and the rate has been accelerating in recent decades.
·         Globally averaged air temperature has warmed by over 1 °C since records began in 1850, and each of the last four decades has been warmer than the previous one.

Future

Australia is projected to experience:
·         Further increases in sea and air temperatures, with more hot days and marine heatwaves, and fewer cool extremes.
·         Further sea level rise and ocean acidification.
·         Decreases in rainfall across southern Australia with more time in drought, but an increase in intense heavy rainfall throughout Australia.

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Still no hope of a genuine national energy policy as crew on the sinking liner SS Liberal Party brawl on deck



Financial Review, 19 December 2018:

NSW Climate and Energy Minister Don Harwin vowed to push on with his crusade to "end the Canberra climate wars" after federal minister Angus Taylor derailed his proposal to plot a national pathway to net zero emissions by 2050 at an acrimonious Council of Australian Governments' meeting.

Tempers flared at the meeting of energy ministers in Adelaide after Mr Taylor used an obscure procedural rule to block Mr Harwin's motion for a net zero emissions pathway. A furious Mr Harwin said that if Mr Taylor was going to use obscure procedural rules to block a motion supported by most state and territory energy ministers "be it on your own head".

The bitter split between the NSW and federal coalition governments comes as Gladys Berejiklian's NSW Coalition government faces a March 23 election in which climate policy looms large after voters sharply rejected the Morrison government's climate change agnostic energy policies at the Wentworth byelection in October and the Victorian state election in November.

Mr Harwin said in a statement after the meeting: "I am very disappointed by the actions of the federal government at COAG Energy Council in Adelaide today.
"The refusal, on procedural grounds, to let the vital matter of restoring an emissions obligation into national energy policy be discussed is extraordinary. NSW will continue to pursue this critical matter with COAG Energy Council."

…..the NSW-federal government stoush dominated the aftermath of the meeting as Mr Harwin told reporters he was furious that "the Commonwealth used the rule book to try and shutdown a discussion on emissions".

"As a sign of how out of touch they are, they wouldn't let us have the discussion," Mr Harwin said. "NSW is not giving up on this. It's absolutely imperative that we end the Canberra climate wars. "


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Climate Change: the power of one, the power of many


By 2012 over half the world's population was estimated to be under thirty years of age, with around 16 per cent being under 15 years old.

All around the world those who govern are considerably older on average.

Yet it is thee yound people who willl be forced to endure the worst impacts - the life changing, life threatening impacts - of climate change.

The young have begun to speak up in defence of their future.

This is Greta, she is fifteen years old...........



TRANSCRIPT: Greta Thunberg’s Speech to COP24 UN Climate Summit, Katowice, Poland, December 2018

GRETA THUNBERG: My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 15 years old, and I’m from Sweden. I speak on behalf of Climate Justice Now!

Many people say that Sweden is just a small country, and it doesn’t matter what we do. But I’ve learned that you are never too small to make a difference. And if a few children can get headlines all over the world just by not going to school, then imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to.

But to do that, we have to speak clearly, no matter how uncomfortable that may be.

You only speak of green eternal economic growth because you are too scared of being unpopular. You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess, even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake. 

You are not mature enough to tell it like it is. Even that burden you leave to us children.

But I don’t care about being popular. I care about climate justice and the living planet. 

Our civilization is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. Our biosphere is being sacrificed so that rich people in countries like mine can live in luxury. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few.

The year 2078, I will celebrate my 75th birthday. If I have children, maybe they will spend that day with me. Maybe they will ask me about you. Maybe they will ask why you didn’t do anything while there still was time to act. 

You say you love your children above all else, and yet you are stealing their future in front of their very eyes.

Until you start focusing on what needs to be done, rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We cannot solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep the fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, then maybe we should change the system itself.

We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past, and you will ignore us again. 

We have run out of excuses, and we are running out of time. 

We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people. 

Thank you. 

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Quotes of the Week


“If you want to know what caused those conditions, I’ll give you an answer – it’s called climate change,” the Queensland premier told reporters. “It is only the LNP who could watch Queensland burn and then blame the trees.”  [Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk quoted in The Guardian, 7 December 2018]

“Last year, more Australians bought their seventh home than those who bought their first”  [Journalist Timothy Swanston quoting an incorrect statment by Queensland Minister for Housing and Public Works Mick de Brenni, ABC News, 8 December 2018]

 Most people just consider Assange a spoilt-brat egomaniac with murky motives, a limelight habit and some profoundly questionable political affiliations.”  [Journalist Elizabeth Farrelly writing in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 December 2018]

“Both Brandis and Turnbull were regularly labelled, and probably were what passes for, ‘moderates’ in the neoliberal alt-right nativist populist Trumpist tribal world, or whatever white patriarchy is called these days.”  [Academic and blogger Ingrid Matthews writing in oecomuse, 27 November 2018]

“Scott Morrison reminds me of a belligerent & angry Sunday School teacher. Protected by his Christian reputation but in reality just a nasty, angry, vengeful man”  [Elizabeth Marr on Twitter, 9 December 2018]


Friday, 14 December 2018

Australia’s Chief Scientist gives the Clarence Valley’s Daily Examiner a polite serve



This is what happens when a once proud 159 year-old newspaper is brought by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and begins to publish the political rot that Andrew Bolt spews forth…….

The Daily Examiner, letter to the Editor, 11 December 2018, p.13:

Doing nothing on climate change not an option

On Tuesday, December 4 you published an opinion piece by Andrew Bolt titled, ‘Less marching, more learning’, which included a reference to me ‘admitting’ that we “could stop all Australia’s emissions – junk every car, shut every power station, put a cork in every cow – and the effect on the climate would still be ‘virtually nothing’.”

Those are Andrew Bolt’s words, not mine, and they are a complete misrepresentation of my position.

They suggest that we should do nothing to reduce our carbon emissions, a stance I reject, and I wish to correct the record.

On June 1, 2017 I attended a Senate Estimates hearing where Senator Ian Macdonald asked if the world was to reduce its carbon emissions by 1.3 per cent, which is approximately Australia’s rate of emissions, what impact would that make on the changing climate of the world.

My response was that the impact would be virtually nothing, but I immediately continued by explaining that doing nothing is not a position that we can responsibly take because emissions reductions is a little bit like voting, in that if everyone took the attitude that their vote does not count and no-one voted, we would not have a democracy.

Similarly, if all countries that have comparable carbon emissions took the position that they shouldn’t take action because their contribution to this global problem is insignificant, then nobody would act and the problem would continue to grow in scale.

Let me be clear, we need to continue on the path of reducing Australia’s carbon emissions. The fact remains that Australia’s emissions per person are some of the highest in the world.

In response to the recent IPCC report, I urged all decision makers – in government, industry, and the community – to listen to the science and focus on the goal of reducing emissions, while maximising economic growth.
I was upfront about the magnitude of the task: it is huge and will require a global effort.

We’ve never been a nation to shy away from a challenge, or from shouldering our fair share of the responsibility for solving global issues.

Sitting on our hands while expecting the rest of the world to do their part is simply not acceptable.

Dr Alan Finkel AO,
Australia’s Chief Scientist. [my yellow highlighting]