The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

The Hon. Greg Hunt MP

Minister for the Environment

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report

Media release
27 September 2013

The Australian Government acknowledges and appreciates the release today of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on the physical science basis for climate change.

The Report's findings reinforce the Government's bi-partisan support for the science and the targets set for emissions reductions.

Key findings from the Report include:

  • A 95 per cent probability that humans are contributing to climate change.
  • Projections that temperatures could rise from 0.9 degrees Celsius at the bottom of a low emissions scenario to 5.4 degrees Celsius at the top of a high emissions scenario by the end of the Century (compared to a 1850-1900 baseline).
  • The likely range for Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (how much average global temperature is expected to rise after a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations) is now deemed to be 1.5 - 4.5 degrees Celsius, a revision from the Fourth Assessment Report which provided a range of 2.0 to 4.5 degrees.
  • Sea levels have already risen 19 cm since 1901 and projections for sea level rises range from 0.28 metres at the low end of a low emissions scenario to 0.98 metres at the top end of a high emissions scenario by 2100 (compared to a 1986-2005 baseline). 
  • Global air temperature over the last 15 years has been rising at a lower rate than the average since 1950 but the last decade has nonetheless been the hottest on record.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology has advised me that for Australia:
    1. 2011 was 0.13 degrees below the 1961-90 temperature average;
    2. 2012 was 0.11 degrees above the 1961-90 temperature average;
    3. 2013 is currently on track to be the second hottest or hottest recorded year experienced since 1910.

The Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO have played an important role in the development of the latest IPCC report and thirteen Australian scientists are Lead Authors, Coordinating Lead Authors or Review Editors of the Report.

Against this background, the irony of the carbon tax is that Australia's last international submission showed that between 2010 and 2020 our domestic emissions rise from 561 to 637 million tonnes. It is why we have opposed a Carbon Tax and will repeal it.  Under the ALP's carbon tax electricity prices go up but emissions go up.  It is the wrong policy approach and the sooner it is scrapped, the better.

The Government will proceed with its Emissions Reduction Fund to ensure Australia meets the emissions reduction targets by 2020.

Greg Hunt

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