While many governments around the world are introducing measures to address climate change, the Australian government has failed to develop an action plan to reduce Australia’s emissions to COP21 agreed levels.
With both local and federal government elections coming up in 2019, it’s time to start rattling the cage!
Professor Will Steffen from the Climate Council will be presenting a Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) talk at the Byron Theatre on Wednesday June 27 entitled The Big U-Turn Ahead; Calling Australia to Action on Climate Change.
Professor Steffen says, ‘We need to throw out governments at all levels that don’t take effective action on climate change and serve notice to incoming governments that they will suffer the same fate if they don’t meet the climate change challenge.’
Once, Earth System scientist Professor Steffen was a member of the Climate Commission, the independent body established in 2011 by the government to communicate ‘reliable and authoritative information’ about climate change in Australia. The Commission was abolished in 2013 by Abbott’s government.
Less than a week later, the Commission was relaunched as an independent, non-profit organisation called the Climate Council, fully funded by public donations.
Professor Steffen sees the current top climate change challenges as getting universal agreement across countries and cultures that we need to phase out all fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas by 2040, ‘if we are to have a chance to stabilise the climate system at temperature somewhere near 2 degrees C.’
He says the Climate Council is ‘working hard to deal with the dangers of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and the need to scrap it and strengthen the move to renewable energy and storage.’
The Climate Council will produce a major report on the risks of climate change for water security with a focus on Australia.
After discussing how much time before Australian business, industry, government and households reach the peak emissions ‘point of no return’, MC Mick O’Regan will delve further into practical solutions with Professor Steffen and an expert panel including environmental lawyer Sue Higginson, Enova Energy MD Tony Pfeiffer, grassroots activist Amelia Hicks and the Gas-field Free Northern Rivers’ Simon Clough.
The event will be held from 6.30 till 8.30pm at the Byron Theatre. Tickets are through www.byroncentre.com.au. For further info visit the zerobyron website.
n Christobel Munson is Zero Emissions Byron director.