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Howard “aspirational” goals to do little to tame climate change wrath; threefold increase in heat-related deaths; collapse of crop yields and a serious decline in river flows on the horizon, WWF study says

Posted by gmarkets on 4 October, 2007

According to Marian Wilkinson, in The Sydney Morning Herald (28/9/2007, p.5), the Howard Government’s strategy to deal with climate change – including support for “aspirational” goals rather than binding targets – could lead to catastrophic consequences in Australia, a study has found.

Heat deaths, crop collapse and river flow declines: These include a threefold increase in heat-related deaths; the collapse of crop yields and a serious decline in river flows. The scientific report, commissioned by the conservation group WWF, will be released today, as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Environment Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, join ministers from the main polluting economies in Washington to discuss climate change negotiations.

Ex-CSIRO man writes report: The report, Dangerous Aspirations: Beyond 3 degrees C Warming in Australia, was written by Barrie Pittock, the former head of the CSIRO’s Climate Impacts Group. Pittock analysed a report by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, released during APEC, that found that even with new technologies, greenhouse emissions were still projected to rise 60 per cent above 1990 levels by 2050 if deep cuts are not made.

IPCC tips entry into danger zone: Pittock said the latest report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found this level of emissions would lead to a global temperature rise of between 3.2 and 4.9 degrees. “On an even more serious note, such a rise in temperature would almost certainly trigger an unstoppable climate tipping point,” Pittock said. This is the point where climate change reaches a point of instability, causing the changes to magnify.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 28/9/2007, p. 5


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