Top climate researchers slam government inaction

Twenty-two of the nation’s top scholars and health experts have slammed the Australian Government’s ‘contemptuous’ response to the dire findings of the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) recent report.

In a letter delivered to the Federal Government, the experts have demanded a complete phase out of coal by 2050, and immediate action in the coming 12 years to avert a climate catastrophe.

In a stinging statement published in The Lancet, the Australian health professionals declare the Government’s “contemptuous dismissal” of the IPCC report, including a recommendation to dramatically reduce coal power by 2050, “unacceptable”.

The group, which includes Nobel Laureates Professors Peter Doherty AC and Tilman Ruff AM, Professor Fiona Stanley AC, Professor Alan Lopez AC, and Professor Brendan Crabb AC, says it’s shocked by the Government’s repudiation of 90 experts from 40 countries who referenced more than 6,000 scientific reports.

“The Australian Government needs to take climate change much more seriously. For the sake of the health of our children, and future generations of Australians, the government simply must act urgently and decisively,” University of Sydney’s Professor Tony Capon said.

The authors call on the Australian government to move away from energy sources that harm human health and the planet, and towards renewable energy, and also commit to:

  • No new or expanded coal mines, and no new coal-fired power stations

  • Phasing out existing coal-fired power stations and scrapping subsidies to fossil fuel industries

  • Increasing the national renewal energy target to at least 50 per cent by 2030

  • Developing economic transition plans for communities affected by the phasing out of fossil fuel industries

  • Supporting Pacific island nations to prepare for and adapt to climate change.

The full letter can be found here

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