But the report said it’s “now or never” to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees. Action means cutting emissions from the use of fossil fuels rapidly and hard. “Global emissions must peak within three years to have any chance of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees,” he says.
If you wanted to pick the worst continent to live on as the climate changes, it would be Australia, according to Quiggin. We are a “poster child” for what the rest of the world will be dealing with. Not that we care.
The economic costs of the transition to renewable energy would be marginal, he says. “The required investment in clean energy would be around 2.5 per cent of gross domestic product. That’s far less than the cost of allowing global heating to continue, with costs further offset by clean energy’s zero fuel costs and lower operating costs.”
The Liberals have supported zero net emissions by 2050, but refused to increase their commitment to reduce emissions 26 or 28 per cent by 2030. This is judged to be consistent with global warming of 3 degrees, bordering on 4 degrees.
Labor’s target is emission reduction of 43 per cent by 2030. Its plan is supported by the Business Council of Australia. This is judged to be consistent with global warming of 2 degrees, which would be “very likely to destroy the Great Barrier Reef”.
Steggall’s climate bill has a target of 60 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, which is close to, but within, the upper boundary of modeled 1.5 degrees pathways for Australia. A higher target would give a higher probability of meeting the 1.5 limit.
If you’ll forgive a little colorful characterisation, the choice ranges from the Liberals’ “let’s just say we’ll do something, so we don’t offend Barnaby and his generous donors” to Labor’s “let’s do a lot more than the Libs , but go easy on coal and coalminers” to the Greens’ “let’s not muck about”.