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Byron Shire
August 20, 2022

Call for climate policy ramp up after State of the Environment Report released

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The Climate Council of Australia has called on the Federal Government to immediately ramp up its responses to climate change following the release of the latest State of the Environment report.

The report, released this morning, paints a grim picture for Australia and the planet as a whole.

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It identifies climate change as a key driving force behind unprecedented environmental decline, species extinction and extreme weather events over the past five years.

‘Australia has paid a heavy price for more than a decade of climate inaction from the previous Government, with a “poor and deteriorating” outlook for our irreplaceable environment, ecosystems and species,’ said Amanda McKenzie, CEO, Climate Council.

‘The report is unequivocal that rapid and deep cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions can help protect our environment,’ Ms McKenzie said.

‘Australia’s high greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to the decline of our environment. After almost a decade of ‘lost years’ of inaction, there is no more time to waste. We must rapidly drive down emissions this decade and immediately stop the expansion of new coal and gas projects,’ added Ms McKenzie.

The Climate Council recommends that Australia:

  • Reduce emissions by 75 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2035.
  • Stop all new coal and gas projects and phase out existing reliance on fossil fuels
  • Ensure all environmental assessments of new gas and coal projects are responsible and evidence-based, and include scope three emissions from all projects.

Economist and Climate Councillor, Nicki Hutley said: ‘The decline of our environment is an ecological and economic disaster. Australia’s species, ecosystems and natural resources are the environmental capital upon which the prosperity of future generations depends.’

‘Whether it’s biodiversity restoration, ecosystem resilience, or the rapid investments in clean energy required to deliver the urgent emissions cuts this decade, funding for environmental protection can result in trillions of dollars of avoided damage.

‘Past and current policies have failed to protect our precious environment, and must change. As a key first step, Australia’s main environmental law—the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act—must consider the impacts of climate change when considering new coal and gas projects for approval,’ said Ms Hutley.

Kate Charlesworth, public health physician and Climate Councillor, added: ‘Smoke pollution from bushfires, the spread of mould and vector-borne diseases after multiple floods, and the impact of floods and drought on our food security all highlight the serious consequences of environmental deterioration, exacerbated by climate change, on our health and well-being.’

‘The enormous physical and mental health benefits of interacting with nature are also well-documented. We need immediate action to restore the health of our ecosystem, starting with an immediate ban on new coal and gas projects and rapid emissions cuts this decade,’ said Dr Charlesworth.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Yes to all of the above, but more importantly, we citizens each must take the Mullumbimby Pledge:- live simply, consume less, grow your own … build your own, go off the grid, eschew built-in obsolescence, recycle everything on-site, travel little, amuse yourselves.
    A mass change of habits is necessary and it is not someone else’s responsibility, not (only) the governments’, definitely not third world peoples’. Could you take the radical steps of not owning a car, not shopping for entertainment, not expecting luxuries and of, maybe hardest of all, not valuing things from elsewhere above those made locally?
    Congratulations to the Report’s authors:- Emma Johnston, Ian Cresswell and Terri Janke

  2. And a ban on Byron Council constructing a Methane burning, CO2 polluting, Bioenergy electricity production Plant, utilising green waste to proactively produce Methane, to burn to run a n electricity generator. The earths CO2 levels have been roughly stable for millions of years with the ongoing natural decay of all forest and plants. CO2 capture from green waste breakdown can be further enhanced by Councils Phytocaping green waste (growing vegetation on green waste piles, where the growing vegetation proactively absorbs the CO2 and locks it into growth). Think global – Act local – STOP THE CONSTRUCTION OF BYRON COUNCIL’S PROPOSED BIO ENERGY PLANT

  3. Well, another great report that in all likelihood will change nothing, apart from some tokenistic action.
    As long as we don’t enforce triple or quadruple bottom line accounting (meaning the success of a business is measured not only by the profit they generate, but also by their impact on environment and society as a whole) businesses will continue to use natural resources as theirs for the taking. See bottled water in the Tweed, CSG fracking, fish farming, … you name it.
    I can’t see any government gaining a majority that is keen on tackling this incredibly tough job of selling some unpalatable truths to the general public. So it’s likely we will keep going more or less BAU until most of our homes have become uninsurable, our health is plagued by a myriad of chronic conditions, and a large part of the population descends into abject misery.
    We asked for it, we will get it. Sad, but in my view inevitable. Prove me wrong! (I hope someone does).

  4. Yet more alarmist fantasy from the mad green left church of climatology, at least in Germany the Greens there have recognised that renewables have limited capacity and have recommended a return to coal fired power generation.

  5. Yes Anton, but you are not supposed to point out these cogent facts out just at the moment.
    Shortages will have to get far worse until ordinary folk turn on their present political green-regime.
    Families at the bottom of our community will be the worse affected by shortages & steep price increases for basics of life.
    The TEALS, Prince Harry, Warren Buffet [et a]l will be unaffected – except they will make $millions on talk-show appearances and investment speculation. People should prepare to suffer as this too-hasty zero-climate religion gets more defensive and irrational in the coming months

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