Will you sign?
To Hon Bill Shorten
Leader of the Opposition
Dear Mr Shorten
With the ALP currently considering what will be in the party platform which will go to the 2015 national conference, I am writing to urge you to put a strong response to climate change at the core of your plan for Australia.
According to the most recent climate science the current
CO2 levels in the atmosphere (400 ppm) is enough to cause in excess of 10 metres of sea level rise, melt the full Arctic permafrost, and cause +2ºC of warming.
The 2014 IPCC 5th Assessment Report shows that our current trajectory is towards 3.7 - 4.8 degrees of warming by 2100. The risks associated with temperatures at or above 4°C include extinction of 40 to 70 per cent of known species, global and regional food insecurity, massive human rights impacts, and limited potential for adaptation in some countries and regions. This would be catastrophic.
Climate science tells us clearly that we need to be transitioning away from our current reliance on dirty fossil fuels. The time for business as usual is over. We need to be preparing our cities, infrastructure, manufacturing and farming systems for the changes that are already locked in to the climate system. We need Australia to do a fair share of the work needed to achieve the carbon reductions that are required in the global economy if we are to avoid dangerous climate change.
Specifically, I urge you to act on the commitments made in the ALP National platform from 2011 and go much further:
Put climate action at the core of the ALP’s approach to managing the economy, with a program to transform the economy to one based on zero net greenhouse emissions, and focusing on job rich industries like public transport, energy efficiency and the roll out of renewable energy
Set targets to ensure Australia generates 100% of its energy production from renewable energy sources by 2030
Phase out 100% of greenhouse emissions from power stations by 2030
Develop a plan to shut down dirty, coal fired power stations and transition the workforce into new sectors, and
keep the vast majority of our fossil fuel reserves in the ground.
The ALP has a chance to profoundly differentiate itself from the conservative parties on the issue of climate change. But beyond this, rapid transition is required if we are to have a hope of avoiding the huge social, health, environmental and economic costs that will come with climate disruption.
I urge you to rise to the risk and the opportunity presented by climate change and ensure your party develops a visionary plan to take the next federal election.
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