A last call on global warming

A group of Australia’s leading scientists and politicians has made “a last call” for an effective response to global warming.

The group, which consists of over 200 climate scientists, population experts, politicians and environmental lawyers, has released a joint statement described as “call to arms” following a climate change conference recently held in Canberra.

Global warming tipping points are imminent, they say, and the need for action is “extremely urgent” as “our window of opportunity for avoiding severe impacts is rapidly closing”.

"The first key message is we really haven’t got much longer to go before the problem is taken out of our hands,” Climate scientist Professor Barry Brook from the Adelaide University told the ABC.

According to the statement, the speed of global warming is greater than previously predicted with the Arctic summer sea ice projected to melt entirely within the next five years.

The statement says, without much tightened greenhouse gas reductions targets, beyond 2ºC of warming would be unavoidable, engendering “huge human and societal costs and perhaps even the effective end of industrial civilisation”.

Prof Brook told the ABC that the technologies to tackle climate change are already available, and it is about time to implement them.

He said: “The technologies to implement energy efficiency and also to really scale up rapidly our use for renewable energy such as solar and wind [are available]…There is no reason why we need to continue to stall.”

Backing the statement, Prof Brook said the nature of the argument is not technical or economic, but social and political.

"It’s about people understanding and recognising the problem and seeing what an advantage it is,” he said.

"And it’s also political because it requires some decisions from our political leaders to lead the way, and implement polices – such as the mandatory renewable target, and the emissions trading scheme.”

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