Amongst the G20 countries, Australia’s emission reduction target – a reduction of 26-28% on a 2005 baseline – is unusually weak, nowhere near what is required for us to play our fair share in meeting 2°C Paris target.
The IPCC uses a synthesis of thousands of peer-reviewed scientific papers to assess the degree of risk at increasing levels of global average temperature.
› There is a significant difference in the degree of risk between the 1.5°C and 2.0°C Paris targets, with higher risks of damage to natural ecosystems and more intense and/or frequent extreme weather events for the 2.0°C target.
At a 2.0°C temperature rise, there is a high level of risk for 3 of the 5 categories – impacts on natural ecosystems, extreme weather events, and impacts on the most vulnerable. That is, a 2.0°C temperature rise is not a “safe” level of climate change.
A 4.0°C temperature rise (business-as-usual) would lead to a vastly different world, with very high risks to many natural ecosystems and highly damaging impacts on the most vulnerable.
Renewable energy and net zero emissions targets of states and territories, as well as battery storage capacity. Sources: Climate Council 2017a and references therein; Hydro Tasmania 2014; Northern Territory 2017; South Australia Government 2017; Victoria Government 2017.
Australia is failing to tackle climate change with emissions rising and a lack of any coherent, long-term national approach to reduce emissions in the short, medium or long term. We are known as a global climate laggard.
- Failure to rapidly and deeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions increases the risk of deteriorating human health and well-being, massive forced migration and conflict, crippling economic damage around the world, and the Earth’s sixth great extinction event.
- Australia is highly vulnerable to many of the consequences of a changing climate, from worsening heatwaves, droughts and bushfires, to devastating coral reef bleaching, and most of our population centres being exposed to sea level rise.
- Amongst the G20 countries, Australia’s emission reduction target – a reduction of 26-28% on a 2005 baseline – is unusually weak, nowhere near what is required for us to play our fair share in meeting 2°C Paris target.
- Renewable energy has already replaced ageing, polluting fossil fuels as the energy system of the future, with the installation of solar and wind systems globally doubling every 5.4 years.
- Maintaining this rate of renewable expansion could see the world’s energy systems completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
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