More than 118 Australian scientists and experts, backed by 50 Australian environmental and climate organisations, have signed an open letter calling on the Australian Government to prevent any further new fossil fuel projects in Australia.
It is time to put climate science back into Australia's climate policy.
Professor Fiona Stanley, former Australian of the year and epidemiologist, said:
“To ignore the science of climate change is reckless and irresponsible. Fossil fuel expansion drives climate change, threatening human health and the future of our kids and grandkids. Despite the global complexity of our environments, of our living systems and the huge variability of how we live on the planet, science has been remarkable. We must heed the warning,” she said.
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Protecting our climate means preventing new Australian fossil fuel projects
Australia and the rest of the world are on the precipice of irreversible, catastrophic climate change.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and scientists globally have called for an end to new fossil fuel development as fossil fuels are the key driver of the climate emergency.
Vast areas of Australia are covered by coal and gas production and licenses. Coal and gas mined in Australia currently results in 1.5 billion tonnes of emissions annually, around triple the annual emissions of the UK.
The Australian Government lists over 100 new coal and gas projects as under development in Australia. Projects scheduled to begin before 2030 alone will add a further 1.4 billion tonnes annually by 2030. This excludes emissions from several major projects and vast new gas basins actively supported by Australian governments including the Barossa and Greater Sunrise offshore oil and gas fields, and the Beetaloo, Canning and Lake Eyre unconventional gas basins.
As the world’s third largest exporter of fossil fuels Australia has a special responsibility to stop fuelling the increase in global emissions caused by Australian gas and coal production, both here and overseas. Any serious climate policy must reduce fossil fuel production and emissions. Offsetting a tiny fraction of the total emissions from these projects is not a credible climate solution.
We call on the Australian Government to follow the advice of the world’s scientists and prevent any further new coal and gas developments in Australia.