Climate headed for ‘catastrophe’ – Herald Sun

Up to 15,000 Australians would die each year from heat-related illness, bushfires would double and some of the nation’s most treasured icons would disappear under the federal government’s climate plan, a conservation group claims.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has attacked the government’s strategy for tackling global warming, saying the “business as usual” approach would lead to catastrophic climate change.

The group’s comments are in response to the six-nation Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate meeting hosted by the government last week.

During the talks, the six nations resolved to establish eight taskforces to tackle climate change issues.

The government also announced a five-year $100 million plan to develop green energy projects.

But the WWF says the plan would result in global greenhouse gas emissions increasing by more than 100 per cent by 2050, pushing temperatures up by four degrees Celsius.

Such an increase, the WWF maintains, would result in up to 15,000 Australians dying each year from heat-related illness, bushfires more than doubling, species extinction, increased storm damage and icons such as the Kakadu wetlands and Great Barrier Reef disappearing.

“Australians need to ask themselves whether this is an acceptable outcome and whether the prime minister (John Howard) is truly exercising his duty of care as the leader of this country by consciously taking Australians, and the rest of the world, down a very dangerous path,” WWF chief executive officer Greg Bourne said.

“The Australian Government is willing to sacrifice public health and safety, the lifestyles of millions of Australians and our most treasured natural icons to pursue a business as usual energy path.

“But under climate change there is no business as usual, no sector of the economy will be left unscathed if we accept runaway climate change.”

Mr Howard has previously said that the plan was in addition to $1.8 billion earmarked to address climate change issues.






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