Australia’s mitigation and adaptation efforts will be strongly enhanced by the timely adoption and further advancement of science and technology innovations, supported by government policy settings that encourage investment in technologies already available.
The scientific evidence for global warming is unequivocal. To avoid the widespread and dangerous impacts of climate change, strong action is required by policy makers and industry, for it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause. Mitigation responses are critical to reduce the rate of warming in the global climate system. Adaptation responses are necessary to reduce the impact of current and future climate related stresses and manage future climate change risks.
The Paris Agreement came into force in 2016, with its central aim to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change1. To meet its initial target under the Paris Agreement, Australia has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
ATSE believes that Australia’s mitigation and adaptation efforts will be strongly enhanced by the timely adoption and further advancement of science and technology innovations, supported by government policy settings that encourage investment in technologies already available. With strong leadership from government and active participation by industry, Australia is well placed to meet the challenges and be a leader in capturing the opportunities in effective climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Mitigation involves reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to slow the pace of climate change and lower the risk and severity of its impacts. Global efforts to mitigate emissions are gathering pace, driven by rapid technological advances and their uptake by industry and communities. However, mitigation efforts must increase to avoid the significant dangers posed by an accelerating global warming.
ATSE has identified a number of key mitigation measures worthy of immediate adoption. These measures reflect a portfolio of technologies that would help Australia mitigate climate change and capture related opportunities:
Adaptation is the process of proactively responding to climate change as it occurs, in a systematic way. Greenhouse gas emissions have already altered the global climate system and will continue to do so well into the future, irrespective of any mitigation efforts. The progressive warming of the atmosphere and oceans is producing changes in rainfall patterns and in the frequency and magnitude of severe weather events such as extreme heat and cold, droughts, floods and storms. Changes in the oceans and the ice caps present climatic risks for societies, economies and ecosystems but they also provide new opportunities. Effective adaptation strategies are necessary to manage these risks and proactively identify new opportunities that may emerge from these climatic changes.
ATSE has identified several adaptation measures and processes for immediate adoption, or which require further innovation and government policy support:
ATSE has identified four key principles that will help drive Australia’s response to climate change and facilitate uptake of the measures listed above. These require a commitment by industry and government to:
The innovation required for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts offers immense opportunities for the creation of social, economic and environmental benefit. Australia requires a cross-sectoral roadmap to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. ATSE stands ready to play its part in the required technological revolution.
1 Achieving this requires keeping global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (Paris Climate Change Agreement)
SOURCES: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology
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