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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
23 May 2006
A new report released today by the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, reveals that climate change may be occurring at a more rapid rate than scientists previously thought.
Senator Campbell said the report, Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science 2001- 2005, analyses the latest international research on climate change, including new evidence that human activities were causing climate change and that its impacts were already being felt.
“Climate change is a global problem that demands an effective global response. This is too serious a matter for Australians to be misled into believing that massive cuts to Australian greenhouse gases on our own will have any effect on global climate change,” Senator Campbell said.
“Australia contributes just 1.4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. If we turned off all power stations in Australia, the greenhouse gas emissions would be completely replicated by the fast growth of China in just 11 months.”
The report states the risks of reaching the high end of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report (2001) projections – temperature rises of up to 5.8 degrees could be reached by the end of this century.
“This is why the Australian Government is working hard through global initiatives such as the United Nations Climate Change Convention, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and the G8 dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and Sustainable Development to build an effective international response to this issue,” Senator Campbell said.
“At the same time, we are addressing our domestic responsibility by taking strong, practical action. We have invested almost $2 billion to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, while increasing our scientific understanding and our ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change,” he said.
Risk Management Guide
To help keep Australian businesses, governments and communities one step ahead of climate change, Senator Campbell also released a new risk management guide and launched a series of climate change risk management workshops in capital cities.
“The workshops will help senior business people understand the potential impacts of climate change and the importance of factoring those impacts into their business strategies,” Senator Campbell said.
“The latest research says we can expect more severe droughts and storms, as well as changes in rainfall. This means it is crucial that all sectors of the community start to plan for potential impacts now.”
Attached is some background information about the report, ‘Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science 2001-2005’, and the ‘Climate Change Impacts and Risk Management: A Guide for Business and Government’.
Marianne McCabe 02 6277 7640 or 0400 389 580
Stronger Evidence but New Challenges: Climate Change Science 2001 – 2005
Climate Change Impacts and Risk Management: A Guide for Business and Government