Climate Future has written an Open Letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison (and sent a copy to every Federal and NSW parliamentarian) pointing out that as the leader of the country he has a duty of care to protect its children from the consequences of climate change.
Climate Future Chair, Richard Weller, said he was compelled to write to the Prime Minister calling for urgent action because “the situation is dire and needs immediate mitigation.
“We are currently heading towards more than 3 ̊C increase, which would lead to a collapsing economy and geopolitical instability,” Mr Weller said. “This is now a question that can only be faced through top level political leadership.
“To avoid an economic and social catastrophe we must act urgently,” he said. “Every year of delay costs Australia $68 Billion/year.”
The Open Letter to Scott Morrison called upon the PM to “take the required leadership” as follows:
- Set a target of net zero by 2045.
- Set an interim target of 75% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Prepare a detailed policy plan to establish a schedule for changing Australia’s economic sector emissions to meet these targets.
- Implement immediate measures to go to 90% renewable energy by 2030.
- Implement immediate measures to encourage our vehicle fleet to transition to renewable energy with a target of 85% renewable in the transport sector by 2030.
- Drive the economy towards net zero by properly enforcing the existing carbon trading system (reverse auctions for Australian carbon credit units together with effective reductions under the safeguard mechanism) OR implement a new more efficient price on carbon (e.g. the Australian Carbon Dividend recommended by the Citizens Climate Lobby).
Mr Weller said a target of 75% by 2030 would mean that there could be no new fossil fuel projects approved and that existing assets would need to be retired (including petrol/diesel vehicles).
“This would require proper management to minimize economic impacts and transition employees that are affected to new industries,” he said. “We are given the task of stewardship for this planet on which we live.
“Scientists across a broad range of disciplines are warning us that our climate system is spiralling towards disaster.
“We have a moral duty to cease emissions of greenhouse gases so that our children and grandchildren can avoid a chaotic climate and inherit the world in a healthy condition.
“We would be negligent to do otherwise.
“The delays of the last 30 years leave us in the position that the transition is now an emergency and immediate action is required to avoid disaster.
“No other course is open to us but to rapidly cut our emissions.
“Climate change impacts are already affecting Australians. Examples include the 2019-20 bushfire season and the increasing drought situation across the Murray-Darling basin.
“Fabulous opportunities exist for Australia in the new low carbon economy if we act now.
“Instead of mining coal and gas we can mine our abundant sun and wind resources to export renewable energy to the world,” Mr Weller said.