Environmental groups have criticised a draft government strategy on climate-related issues that has been released in the wake of the Paris climate summit.
Key points:The strategy calls for a new system for monitoring carbon emissions to be introduced in the next 12 monthsClimate change is among the issues that will be considered in a new climate-change frameworkThe strategy says the focus should be on climate resilience and resilience to the impacts of climate changeEnvironment groups say the plan fails to adequately address impacts of rising sea levels, wildfires and increased droughtsThe plan was released on Thursday and will be reviewed by the Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg.
It includes a call for a system for tracking carbon emissions, the first time the Government has said so in an official document.
“In the new climate framework, the Government will make a new policy commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide emissions,” the strategy said.
“This will include a system to manage greenhouse gas and carbon emissions through the National Carbon Inventory, which will include emissions by fossil fuel power stations.”
It said the framework also commits to implementing a new national carbon accounting system for the electricity sector, which would include a national carbon market.
The Climate Change Authority, the government body that monitors the carbon cycle, will also be consulted on the new framework.
“There will be an urgent focus on climate adaptation in the new National Climate Adaptation Framework,” it said.”[The plan] does not include the long-term mitigation of climate impacts and impacts to communities, which is what the previous Government has done.”‘
We are on the cusp of a massive change’Professor Robert Jones, a climate scientist at James Cook University, said he was concerned the plan was a “muddled, confusing document”.
“It’s not clear what the focus will be, what the policy is for, what policies are going to be included, and how the system will work, and that’s where we are,” he said.
Dr Jones said it was important that the new policy included measures to mitigate the effects of climate disruption, but he also said it lacked clear goals.
“I think the main thing that people need to be aware of is that we are on a tipping point,” he told ABC News.
“The climate is changing, we are moving away from coal and gas, and we are also seeing that more and more of our cities and towns are getting flooded.”
And we are at the moment facing the most serious and significant threat to our environment that we have ever faced.
“It is going to change the way we live in this country and it is going at a rapid pace.”‘
An urgent priority’The Climate Action Coalition, an organisation of environmental groups, said the plan failed to adequately tackle climate change.
“We have been calling on the Government for an urgent priority on climate, but they are failing to respond, instead of trying to appease the climate sceptics, they are trying to justify a plan which ignores the impacts and risks that climate change will cause to the environment,” it wrote in a statement.
“Climate change, and the impacts that climate will bring, are already affecting people’s lives and our planet.
We are now on the verge of a giant change.”
The Coalition said the strategy should have included a focus on the impacts climate change poses to human health and the environment, but instead the Government “has ignored” those concerns.
“Instead of focusing on the threat of climate extremes and climate change itself, the strategy leaves the door open to a future where we have a global economy driven by fossil fuels,” it added.’
We need a new plan’The environment minister, Josh Ryde, said it appeared the draft was a product of the current political environment.
“As a result of the lack of focus on this important issue, there are significant risks that will occur and the country will face the most catastrophic and rapid change in its climate history,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Our focus should now be on the most urgent and urgent task of our time, which can be described as adapting to a changing climate.”
“This is a new and urgent climate change plan.
It will provide the Government with the tools to help us prepare for a changing and more unpredictable climate,” he added.”
But the new plan should also recognise that our climate resilience is the key to our resilience to climate change and that our resilience is in our own hands.”
Topics:environment,environmental-impact,climate-change,environment,policy,government-and-politics,environment-policy,national-parliament,government—politics,climate,climate change,environment—research,australiaFirst posted March 23, 2020 07:42:02Contact Anna-Jane MeechonMore stories from Australia