Policy: Climate Justice - 2019

Action on Climate Change - NSWCCL Annual General Meeting 2019

The NSWCCL affirms its support for urgent action at the federal and state levels to combat the severe threats to the Earth’s biological inhabitants posed by anthropogenic climate change.

The Council acknowledges the science on climate change recently set out in the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Specifically, we accept that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming in the atmosphere and oceans since the mid-20th century, leading to profound changes in the global environment that are already producing significant damage and disruption for millions around the world.[1] Avoiding the worst effects of climate change will require substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions such that global warming is kept to under 1.5 to 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, a threshold which the world has approximately 11 years to meet.[2] Australia legally committed itself to reaching that target in the 2015 Paris Treaty, along with virtually every nation on earth.

The Council does not endorse any partisan set of policy prescriptions to achieve this. Nevertheless, it is dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, which has seen Australia’s total emissions rise year-on-year under the Coalition government.[3] Lower than expected emissions over the last decade, which will see Australia meet its 2020 Kyoto Protocol obligations, are not a result of Coalition policies.[4] Experts have argued that current policies are insufficient to meet Australia’s Paris targets of 26 and 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.[5] The Adani-Carmichael coal mine, which will be one of the largest in Australia, has passed through the government approval process.

At the recent climate strikes, the largest protests on Australian streets since the Iraq War demonstrations, the young strikers had three central demands: (1) No new coal, oil and gas projects, including the Adani mine; (2) 100% renewable energy generation and exports by 2030; (3) Fund a just transition and job creation for all fossil-fuel workers and communities.

The Council notes these demands with approval.

[1] https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf
[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-
[3] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-11/fact-check-coalition-emissions-reduction-angus-taylor/10936652
[4] https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-11/fact-check-coalition-emissions-reduction-angus-taylor/10936652
[5] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/02/australia-wont-reach-paris-target-without-action-on-