Australia must stop being a climate change laggard. Given severe drought and massive wildfires, the Rudd Government’s target to reduce carbon emissions by 5% by 2020 is dangerously insufficient.
aims to cut emissions by 5 percent by 2020 and 60 percent by 2050. The Government?s cowardly response to its greatest challenge has been explicitly condemned by climate scientists and implicitly condemned by devastating bushfires which killed 200 people.
Australia’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are among the highest in the world, and their economy is based heavily upon the deadly coal fossil fuel industry which exerts undue political influence. Unsustainable Australian lifestyles including native forest clearing and wasteful water use threaten their continent’s fragile ecosystems, and the drought and intensified bushfires are a precursor of Australian and global ecosystem collapse to come.
Given imminent strengthened regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States and Europe, it is time for Australia to embrace sufficient climate change policies including committing to ambitious targets that will require ending its use and export of coal, and stopping native forest clearing.