Australia Remains Silent Amid Global Warming And Calls For Renewable Energy Use
By Reissa Su | April 15, 2014 6:52 PM EST
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is known as a World Heritage site and the worsening effects of climate change have sparked fears that it would soon be destroyed and die.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott addresses during the Commonwealth Government Meeting (CHOGM) opening ceremony in Colombo November 15, 2013.
Recent scientific studies have shown a significant loss of coral cover in the past 27 years. The damage to corals is caused by climate change, storms and the increasing population of crown of thorns starfish. Reducing the number of the starfish species is the key factor to restore coral cover based on research studies.
Despite the mounting fears, climate scientists observed Australia may not be fully committed to battle out climate change.
According to reports, Australia is one of the biggest and most active "climate change deniers" in the world. While the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is encouraging countries to do their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Australia is focusing on coal which is considered the biggest contributor to the ozone's destruction.
The IPCC has found global carbon emissions have increased faster between 2000 and 2010 compared to the past 30 years. The IPCC said attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue to fail.
According to Dr. Frank Jotzo from the Australian National University, Australia has to quadruple low carbon energy use in 2050 or risk the consequences of climate change to agriculture, coastal areas and tourism.
The rise in global temperature would mean the potential widespread and permanent damage to Australia's coral reef systems, specifically the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo in Western Australia.
Some species native to Australia may disappear. The continued rise in global temperature could increase the frequency of flooding which will cause damage to infrastructure. Some low-lying areas may be swallowed by rising sea levels. Extreme weather conditions may affect the quality of Australia's drinking water.
Worsening dry spells, fiercer heat waves and frequent bushfire seasons should be worrying for Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Coalition government after CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology released the State of the Climate report.
The two-year study has prompted calls for curbing carbon emissions from human activities. Greenhouse emissions are already at record levels. Climate scientists predict that the world will be 5 degrees hotter by 2070.
But the Abbott government has not accepted the Climate Change Authority (CCA)'s recommendation for Australia to triple its carbon emissions reduction target.
The climate agency said Australia should be aiming for at least 15 percent by 2020. The target rate will increase to 19 percent once the carryover credits that have been previously set in the Kyoto Protocol are included.
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