Climate Action Newcastle has urged all political parties to take the expert advice on pollution cuts and act on the Climate Change Authority’s (CCA) recommendations.
The CCA has recommended the range of 2020 pollution cuts Australia should aim for be strengthened from 5–25 per cent to 15–25 per cent on 1990 levels.
"If we stay at 5% we are dragging the chain compared with other developed countries. We should step up to the mark and do our fair share" said Mike Collins, spokesperson for Climate Action Newcastle.
The report states that "the Government’s own conditions for moving beyond 5 per cent appear to have been met. More broadly, a 5 per cent target would put Australia at the lower end of effort compared with other developed countries."
The Newcastle volunteer community group are hoping expert advice from the climate change authority released today will bring the gravity of climate change back into the public debate.
"Climate change will bring about increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like the hot dry spring that has made the NSW bushfires so powerful." Collins said.
"The true test of any party's climate policy is whether or not it can meet the targets recommended by the experts out to 2020 and beyond. We have not yet seen enough evidence to suggest that the Government's direct action plan could meet a 15% or 25% target, whereas the already legislated Emission Trading
“What we have here is an independent, expert panel set up by the government, that has studied the science and offered advice. We should take their advice very seriously."
Climate Action Newcastle is also concerned that this sort of advice will be missing from the public debate if the current Government continues with its plan to shut down the CCA altogether.