FAILURE TO ACT on climate change has topped the latest World Economic Forum report on global risks, followed by extreme weather, biodiversity loss, natural resource crises and human environmental damage. It’s the first time in the WEF annual report that all top five threats relate to climate change.
Climate Councillor and former director of preparedness and mobilisation at the Australian Department of Defence, Cheryl Durrant, said:
“It’s clear from this latest report that climate change is the most severe risk to the entire globe. Climate action failure tops the list for both short and long term risks.
“The report reaffirms the link between climate action failure and other social, economic and geopolitical risks. This is happening now, and will continue to speed up over the next decade unless we rapidly reduce emissions.
“World governments are focused on the impacts of COVID-19 and the transition to a post-pandemic world. This has affected global cooperation required for a rapid implementation of net-zero policies. The report warns that delaying action to reduce emissions from the burning of coal and gas could well lead to a disorderly net-zero transition.
“In Australia we are experiencing what a disorderly pandemic transition looks like. Without adequate investment in preparedness and planning, it is a mess. The transition to a renewable and sustainable energy future will be no different if the Australian Government continues to navigate without a suitable plan.
“A sensible government should understand all risks when prioritising its expenditure. The Australian Federal Government has not done this. We need greater investment for climate mitigation and adaptation.”
The Climate Council recommends Australia aims for a 75 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. This would equate to emissions cuts occurring 21 times faster than what the federal government is doing.