‘Scorchers’ to become the norm, scientists say. 03/01/2006. ABC News Online

Australia’s green think tank, the Australia Institute, has accused the Federal Government of fiddling on climate change while Australia burns.

Institute executive director Clive Hamilton says the Government is pandering to the fossil fuel industry, allowing greenhouse gas emissions to continue to rise unchecked and contribute to global warming.

He says recent scorching temperatures are a sign of what is to come, with the CSIRO predicting drought conditions will become the norm.

“According to the CSIRO, we can expect a doubling or trebling of the number of scorchers in the next 30 to 40 years,” Dr Hamilton said.

Dr Hamilton says the Federal Government’s efforts to address the problem, including the establishment of an Asia-Pacific partnership, are little more than window dressing.

“The Government’s own estimates show that Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase by around 45 per cent in the two decades to 2010 and will actually accelerate thereafter,” he said.

“So it makes no sense for the Government to claim it’s acting on this problem.”

Environment Minister Ian Campbell says Australia is spending $1.8 billion to address the issue but he cannot say how soon that will achieve a reduction in emissions.

“The answer to when we will be able to have lower emissions is when we have the breakthrough technologies,” Senator Campbell said.

Dr Hamilton says the technologies already exist to reduce carbon pollution and the Government does not need to wait.

“One of the great canards in the climate change debate is that we need to invest in the technologies so we can solve the problem,” he said.

“In fact, we already have the technology – we have low emission and zero emission technologies which will sharply reduce carbon pollution.”

But Senator Campbell says he has great hopes for the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, which holds its first meeting in Sydney next week.

“We’re very keen to see those six economies that bring together nearly half the world’s population to work very closely to ramp up investment to bring forward technological breakthroughs that can see each of those economies have … secure employment for their citizens, but do so with substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.






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