Tuesday, January 3, 2006
'Scorchers' to become the norm, scientists say
Australia's green think tank, the Australia Institute, has accused
the Federal Government of fiddling on climate change while Australia
Institute executive director Clive Hamilton says the Government is
pandering to the fossil fuel industry, allowing greenhouse gas
emissions to continue to rise unchecked and contribute to global
He says recent scorching temperatures are a sign of what is to come,
with the CSIRO predicting drought conditions will become the norm.
"According to the CSIRO, we can expect a doubling or trebling of the
number of scorchers in the next 30 to 40 years," Dr Hamilton said.
Dr Hamilton says the Federal Government's efforts to address the
problem, including the establishment of an Asia-Pacific partnership,
are little more than window dressing.
"The Government's own estimates show that Australia's greenhouse gas
emissions will increase by around 45 per cent in the two decades to
2010 and will actually accelerate thereafter," he said.
"So it makes no sense for the Government to claim it's acting on this
Environment Minister Ian Campbell says Australia is spending $1.8
billion to address the issue but he cannot say how soon that will
achieve a reduction in emissions.
"The answer to when we will be able to have lower emissions is when
we have the breakthrough technologies," Senator Campbell said.
Dr Hamilton says the technologies already exist to reduce carbon
pollution and the Government does not need to wait.
"One of the great canards in the climate change debate is that we
need to invest in the technologies so we can solve the problem," he
"In fact, we already have the technology - we have low emission and
zero emission technologies which will sharply reduce carbon
But Senator Campbell says he has great hopes for the Asia-Pacific
Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, which holds its first
meeting in Sydney next week.
"We're very keen to see those six economies that bring together
nearly half the world's population to work very closely to ramp up
investment to bring forward technological breakthroughs that can see
each of those economies have ... secure employment for their
citizens, but do so with substantially lower greenhouse gas
emissions," he said.
© 2006 Australian Broadcasting Corporation