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Greg Hunt plain wrong on targets: IPCC confirms globe running out of time

Media Release
Christine Milne 27 Sep 2013

The just released IPCC report re-confirms what most of us have now known for years: the world is warming and we are rapidly exhausting the carbon budget for a safe climate. Urgent and deep emission cuts globally are needed, leaving the Australian Government no option but to abandon Direct Action and take urgent and serious measures immediately, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne said tonight.

"Greg Hunt is plain wrong to say that his 5% target is consistent with the drastic cuts required to stay within the carbon budget the world's top climate scientists say must be met. He will be laughed out of the UNFCCC plenary if he even tries to spin that line," Senator Milne said.

"He is also absurdly wrong to say that the IPCC in any way supports the Coalition's plan to repeal carbon pricing.

"On the first day of the new parliament, the Greens will move for the Abbott government to provide a written response to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and how it intends to respond to UN Secretary General's call for countries to bring strong pledges to a UN summit next year ahead of 2015 treaty negotiations and for
that report to be tabled.

"I will also move for an urgent debate into the IPCC's confirmation that we need to drastically reduce emissions and flick the switch to renewables to have any hope of constraining warming to 2 degrees.

"The IPCC makes it clear that the total carbon budget is 1 trillion tonnes, that half has gone already and that it will be exhausted entirely by 2043 if nothing changes.  This highlights why coal from Galilee and Bowen Basins should stay in the ground.

"Minister Hunt needs to explain why he thinks it is fair for wealthy nations like Australia which collectively have the greatest historical responsibility for global warming, as well as relatively high per capita emissions should not cut emissions faster and deeper than his pathetic 5%.

"Prime Minister Abbott must now reverse his decision to axe the Climate Change Authority, whose job it is to make recommendations about fair and science-based emission reduction targets for Australia within the permissible global carbon budget. Similarly he must retain the Clean Energy Finance Corporation whose mission is to support commercialisation of emerging clean energy technology. Both of these institutions are proving highly effective. 

"The IPCC also makes it clear that we can still achieve the 2 degree goal, but only just.

"As a global community we are out of time. It's now or never. Politicians must repudiate the narrow, short-term vested interest of the fossil fuel industry and instead lead on behalf of the broader community.

"It's clear, climate change will be Tony Abbott's defining challenge. His legacy is dependent on the extent to which he can set aside his anti-science ideology and instead take expert scientific and economic advice.

"To knowingly refuse to act in the face of the evidence presented in the IPCC report is a crime against future generations."

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