Climate risks to the nation: What the IPCC report means for Australia Media Release

Sep 23, 2013 - 1:00am

The Climate Institute today launched a comprehensive package of materials, including graphics and videos, laying out the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report being released later this week, focusing on the implications for Australia. 

“There have been misguided or malicious efforts that may have confused some Australians about the possible contents of this report, the processes of the IPCC and some of the likely impacts for the nation,” said Erwin Jackson, Deputy CEO of The Climate Institute. 

“Our brief summarises the latest science, answers some frequently asked questions and updates current and likely impacts at a national and state level for Australians.” 

The IPCC issues a report every seven years; this is the fifth such report. It establishes with high levels of certainty that: 
  • The planet is warming. The mean global temperature has risen by almost 1°C since pre-industrial times, with increasing temperatures over land and sea.
  • Melting glaciers and ice sheets, sea-ice retreat, and rising and warming sea levels are among the many signs of climate change.
  • Carbon pollution is causing climate change. The warming cannot be explained by natural causes alone. 
  • Carbon pollution is already dangerously high. The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases are now higher than at any time in human history, and at any time for at least 800,000, if not millions of years. 
“Australia is more exposed to climate risks than any other developed nation and it is in our national interest to do what we can to help avoid 2°C warming above pre-industrial levels,” said Jackson. 

“The Coalition Government agrees with this goal and, along with the ALP, has committed to reducing emissions by 5–25 per cent on 2000 levels by 2020. However, it’s only the 25 per cent target that is consistent with global action to avoid a 2°C increase, which itself is likely to represent dangerous climate change.” 

“Our brief today sets out, at national and state levels for Australia, likely impacts of current and future warming in terms of bushfire danger, health impacts, food supplies, storm severity, property damage and national security.” 

The Climate Institute is continuing its research and communication of the latest scientific and economic developments as well as analysis and promotion of climate solutions in terms of public policy, investment management and international diplomacy.

“The regrettable closure of the Climate Commission lifts the importance of our and others’ work in supporting independent, evidence based policy development in Australia,” Jackson said.   

For more information, see

For more information      
Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute , 02 8239 6299 


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