Climate Code Red launched
"Climate Code Red: The case for a sustainability emergency" This new report, prepared by Carbon Equity and the Greenleap Strategic Institute, argues for the need to declare an climate emergency.
Friends of the Earth - media statement
EMBARGO 6 am Monday 4 February 2008
Government must review guidelines for Garnaut
Labor sets Australia for 3 degrees warming, as severe impacts happen at less than 1 degree
"There is no future in being left behind on climate."
Information: Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth 0419 338 047
The national environmental organisation Friends of the Earth (FoE) today called on the federal government to urgently re-cast the role of the Garnaut Climate Change Review. A research report released today by FoE finds that Labor's terms of reference for Garnaut and its policy of a 60% cut in emissions by 2050 is consistent with global warming of 3 degrees. It concludes that Labor has followed the Stern report in developing a framework for setting targets that are politically easy but far short of those required to ensure that the climate system does not run away from our capacity to correct it.
FoE spokesperson Cam Walker said: "The government is potentially allowing Garnaut to engage in dangerous tradeoffs with the lives of many species and many people rather than setting a safe- climate target."
"Climate code red: the case for a sustainability emergency", published today by FoE, finds that serious climate-change impacts are already happening, both more quickly and at lower global temperature rises than previously projected.
Mr Walker says the government is behind the times on climate science: "There is no indication that the Minister for Climate Change and Water or, more broadly, the government understand the new data which is emerging which shows that eight million squares kilometres of ice sheet at the north pole is likely to be entirely lost during the summer within five years. This is an area of polar ice as large as Australia."
"It is likely that soon there will be ice at only one pole during the northern summer, and there is a high risk that a quickly warming north polar region may trigger the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, whose total disintegration would raise sea levels by as much as five metres in a century".
"These impacts are starting to happen at less than one degree of warming, yet the government is effectively planning on allowing warming to run to three degrees."
Mr Walker urged the government to bring James Hansen, head of the United States Government's NASA Goddard Institute for Space Science, and his country's most eminent climate scientist, into the review process so that the science was put first rather than last in making climate policy. In December 2007 Hansen told 15,000 fellow scientists that climate tipping points have already been passed for large ice sheet disintegration and species loss, and there is already enough carbon in the Earth's atmosphere for massive ice sheets such as on Greenland to eventually melt away.
"This is the real climate news story that the government needs to hear," Mr Walker said. "There is no future in being left behind on climate."
Information: Cam Walker 0419 338 047 Full report: Available at www.climatecodered.net