The Australian Greens have launched a six-step plan to combat climate change following the latest dire warning from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The IPCC's summary, released yesterday, says human activity is “very likely” to be the cause of rising temperatures.
It says deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, are needed to avert ever more heatwaves, melting glaciers, extinctions and rising sea levels.
Under the toughest scenario considered by the IPCC, greenhouse gases would have to peak by 2015 to limit global temperature rises to 2.0 to 2.4 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times.
Major parties ‘won’t act’
Greens leader Bob Brown, announcing the six-step plan, warned both the Liberals and Labor it would soon be too late to act on climate change.
The first step in the plan is to cut emissions by 30 per cent of 1990 levels and then move to 80 per cent by 2050 with a “polluter pays” scheme based on the targets.
Then the Greens say Australia must turn around its “ballooning energy demand with a substantial effort to increase energy efficiency across the economy”.
The Greens have also called for a renewable energy target of 15 per cent of all electricity created to be reached by 2012.
Shift ‘away from fossil fuels’
Senator Brown also re-issued the Greens' long-standing call for an end to old growth logging along with a shift to electric and biofuel powered cars.
The final step in the Greens plan is the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
“What we do, or do not do, about climate change in the next two terms of government will determine the course of human history,” Senator Brown said in a statement.
“The world's scientists have again made it clear last night that, to avoid dangerous climate change, global emissions must peak by 2015 if we are to stop climate change from spinning out of control.”