Climate change mitigation and adaptation
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.
Australia’s mitigation and adaptation efforts will be strongly enhanced by the timely adoption and further advancement of technological and scientific 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.
ATSE has identified four key principles that will help drive Australia’s response to climate change. These require a commitment by industry and government to:
- Adopt long-term bipartisan policies and programs that encourage the actions and investments needed for rapid and intensive deployment of technologies and measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change
- Inform and test mitigation and adaptation responses, using leading edge climate modelling and prediction techniques (which should be enhanced in areas where Australia has recognised leadership or unique needs)
- Increase support for low-emissions technology research, development and demonstration, prioritising areas where Australia has recognised leadership or unique needs
- Support Australian participation in cooperative international programs focused on developing solutions to climate change
Having considered the unequivocal scientific evidence, ATSE advocates that Australia commit to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, and set a more ambitious interim emissions target for 2030. To achieve more ambitious targets, Australia should prioritise the immediate deployment of existing mature, low-carbon technologies which can make deep cuts to high-emitting sectors before 2030 and develop a net zero emissions policy and implementation framework.