Coal: Climate Change

“Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation, and all life on this planet.”
NASA Professor James Hanson

 

Burning coal is the single largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for one third of CO2 emissions globally and significantly contributing to dangerous climate change.

Australia is both the world’s largest coal exporter and one of the world’s highest per capita emitters. There are plans to triple Australia’s coal exports this decade – a decision that would make our carbon emissions soar off the scale.

Climate change is an imminent threat to our environment and economy and to the livelihoods of Australia’s people. Devastating floods are now a frequent occurrence in Queensland, destroying homes and lives on a yearly basis. The frequency of ferocious bushfires continues to increase country-wide, with hundreds of homes and lives lost in the last few years alone. Most of us lived through the water shortages of the ten-year drought and the desolation of farming communities across the country – something which we can only expect more of in the future. This is what climate change looks like.

Climate scientists all over the world have confirmed the links between increases in extreme weather and global warming. They have warned that if we continue to pollute at the current rate, we’ll see a 2-4 degree temperature rise by 2050 complete with intolerable climate change. Currently, global temperatures have already increased 1 degree and the Climate Council have released a report declaring 2012 the hottest year on record in Australia. In order to stabilise the climate, we must phase out coal in the next decade and greatly increase Australia’s emissions target reduction for 2020 of 5%.