NEWS THAT MATTERS
Voters must check
candidate's climate credentials
NSW election candidates must commit to large-scale and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, and to actions to protect people from future extreme events, according to Climate Future, a Central Coast-based community group dedicated to action on the climate crisis.
17 March 2023
CLIMATE FUTURE spokesperson, Richard Weller, said, “We have written to every candidate asking for a clear commitment that they will work with the government, whoever they are, on faster action. Candidates must adopt the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emissions reduction target pathway P3 which gives us a two in three chance of keeping temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
“We are already seeing significant climate impacts - heat waves, drought, bushfire, storm and flood made
worse by climate change. We are likely to see very significant extreme events in the next few years," he said.
“Candidates in the March 25 NSW election are in the position to make changes and must act.”
According to Climate Future, voters should require every candidate to clearly state the action they will take to cut emissions and to provide protection for people, property and lives from future extreme events.
“In line with the pathway P3, Climate Future is calling for a ban on any new fossil fuel developments or investments by government and the private sector,” Mr Weller said.
“This ban must be immediate and include cancellation of existing exploration licences and closure of all fossil fuel exploration zones.
“We need to achieve 75% cuts below 2005 levels by 2030. This includes 100% renewable electricity by 2030, 80% renewable energy for the transport industry by 2030 with 100% by 2033; and 85% replacement of gas use with electricity by 2030. The replacement technology is already available for these economic sectors.”
Climate Future is encouraging voters to demand that candidates commit to a fully-funded plan to remove and permanently store carbon from the atmosphere from 2030 at 100 MtCO2/y (Australia's share of atmospheric carbon extraction).
“The IPCC reports are clear that this is required following net zero. Extraction would need to continue for several decades to ensure the 1.5C target will be achieved. This is necessary because global emissions continue to rise after more than 30 years of warnings," said Mr Weller.
Urgent measures will also be needed to protect people from extreme events, according to Climate Future.
The group has put together a policy statement that sets out the steps future MPs and MLCs would need to be prepared to take in NSW to deal with the impacts of extremes such as heat wave, drought, bushfire, storm, flood, food and water availability, etc:
“Voters should be demanding that election candidates provide details about how they would prepare local communities for the extreme impacts of climate change. Measures must include education about the dangers, survival planning, evacuation preparation, routes to safety and shelters.”
“Our future politicians will need to urgently tackle how to re-design and re-construct the built environment to cope with increased impacts of unexpected extreme events. Escape routes and evacuation facilities, stormwater drainage, roads, sewer systems, communications, shelters, emergency response services, recovery, etc. are just some of the areas that need attention.”
“We must elect politicians who will set about changing planning processes to protect future communities from increased climate risk; ban development on vulnerable land; modify legal frameworks and processes; prepare for large refugee flows and large-scale movement of people within Australia.”
Mr Weller said the points raised in Climate Future’s policy statement are the bare minimum of the adaptation responses required in the years and decades ahead. He said the NSW poll on March 25 needed to be about global warming “as we must stop living at the expense of our children”.
Inevitable sea level rise is identified in Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports as of the order of 1m by 2100 and 5m - 7m by 2300, with more than double this amount not ruled out. Unless there is a revolution in response by the world’s governments, this worst case
scenario can just about be guaranteed.
The targets and goals used in the notice are based on the scientific reports of the IPCC, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and many other authoritative scientific organizations (refer to Pathway 2022 report on https://climatefuture.org.au/reports/). The necessary schedule of cuts is set out in the IPCC reports consistent with the budget of total emissions that remains available to reduce the chance of missing the 1.5C target to 1 out of 3 (66%).
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