New forecasts from the UK Met Office indicate that 2020 will see one of the largest annual rises in carbon emissions and that the Australian bushfires will be a contributing factor behind the increase.
“The scale and severity of the bushfires make it very clear that we have to do more to tackle climate change. Australia is a significant player in the global climate crisis and what we do matters,” said the Climate Council’s CEO Amanda McKenzie.
“This year’s global carbon emissions are expected to reach their highest levels since measurements began more than 60 years ago. The data tells a very clear story – we are failing to adequately address the climate crisis,” said Ms McKenzie.
“The disasters we are witnessing will continue until the world stops burning coal, oil and gas. Australia is one of the world’s big emitters, in the top 20, and we are also one of the biggest fossil fuel exporters,” she said.
“Australia has been criticised globally as holding back progress on climate change. The only way we turn this around is to prove we are serious about getting down our greenhouse gas pollution here,” said Ms McKenzie.
Emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas are the main driver of climate change, but this year the UK Met Office predicts the impact of global weather events, such as the Australian bushfires, will contribute 10 per cent to the rise in carbon emissions.
“There is no other option than to decarbonise our economy as quickly as possible. The good news is that Australia has an incredible opportunity to be a renewables superpower because we are the sunniest and one of the windiest countries in the world,” she said.