Media Release

Climate change action critical for Australia’s survival

March 31 2021

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) says a new report on the risk and consequences of three degrees of global warming is clear evidence that Australia needs to act on climate change, and now.

The report by the Australian Academy of Science found that total emission reduction targets currently pledged through the Paris agreement – even if implemented on time – will still see average global surface temperatures rise by three degrees by 2100.

That result would have a devastating impact on Australia’s ecology and economy, as well as on the health and wellbeing of the population.

The Academy of Science’s report recommends that the Australian Government revisit its emission reduction commitments and provide leadership to ensure the world is placed on a safer climate trajectory.

The evidence is clear that extreme weather events will increase in frequency as the planet warms.

“The only way to reduce the risk of these unpredictable and dangerous outcomes is for a substantial reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” said ATSE Chief Executive Kylie Walker.

“Reaching net zero emissions by mid-century is an absolute minimum if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

ATSE agrees with the Academy of Science that this must be a whole-of-economy effort which encompasses electricity generation, transport, industry and agriculture.

As well as mitigating the effects of climate change, this transition will create enormous opportunity for Australia in clean, green industry.

“Australia has an opportunity to become a global renewable energy superpower, but we need to act now to create policy and investment certainty for the transition,” Ms Walker said.

ATSE is optimistic that with strong leadership from government and active participation by industry, Australia would be well-placed to meet the challenges of climate change.

Media note: ATSE’s submission to the Environment and Energy Committee inquiry into two Climate Change bills seeking a net-zero target by 2050 can be found here, and ATSE’S emissions target explainer here.

Media contact: Liz Foschia liz.foschia@atse.org.au  0419 976 903

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.