Stronger emissions targets needed, climate scientist warns

Renewable energy vital to Australia's climate battleAustralia's Climate Council

Australia should sign up for stronger emission targets at next week’s COP23 summit, a leading climate scientist claims.

Climate scientist Professor Will Steffen says Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise despite signing up to the Paris Agreement.

According to Professor Steffen, it’s like the Melbourne Cup: Australia is stuck in the stalls while other nations gallop ahead.

The Climate Council reports Professor Steffen’s comments ahead of the COP23 talks to be staged in Germany on November 6 -17.

Professor Steffen is a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Renewable energy key for stronger emission targets

Professor Steffen says stronger emission targets can be achieved via clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy like solar power.

Stronger emission targets needed to head off climate change.

Australia’s constantly rising carbon emissions increase the risk of dangerous climate change. Image: Climate Council.

Battery storage technology is also vital in the transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy.

Yet Australia’s carbon emissions have climbed steadily every quarter since March 2015 while much of the developed world is heading towards net-zero.

The Federal Government must therefore show commitment to carbon reduction when meeting world leaders at COP23 on November 15, Professor Steffen said.

He advocates renewable energy like commercial solar power, wind and home battery systems throughout Australia.

Importance of COP23 and global agreement

Australia’s Pacific neighbour Fiji is chairing the Bonn climate summit and representing the Pacific region.

According to the Climate Council, Professor Steffen says Australia should also consider the welfare of the Pacific Islands.

Our emission targets are subsequently  ‘far too weak’ and putting nations like Fiji at risk of sea level rises and dangerous cyclones.

Nations will meet for the 23rd annual ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This aims to prevent dangerous climate change resulting in extreme weather events and rising sea levels.

COP 23 is going ahead despite the US pulling out of the Paris Agreement.