CCC Media Release, 26 October 2021

Capricorn Conservation Council has welcomed the long-awaited news that Australia will commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but the detail on how this will be achieved are scant, insufficient and are really nothing more than business as usual .

Dr Coral Rowston, Capricorn Conservation Council’s Coordinator said, “The science is very clear.  We need to take actions to reduce our emissions immediately”.

“While technology advancements towards reducing emissions are positive, they are many years away from coming into fruition and we do not have the time to rely on this as a solution.  The same can be said for carbon capture and storage which has not yet been successful despite many years of trials around the world”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest authoritative assessment of climate change science in August.  It delivered a serious warning to the world that climate change is already occurring and every delay in action will result in worsening impacts.

“We are deeply concerned that it appears that Australia will be heading to the UN Conference of the Parties (COP26) with a commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, but with no plan or commitment to shorter term targets which is what the world needs from us.”

“It appears that the reason for a lack of commitment to reducing emissions is about concern for regional Australia.  This seems ludicrous given the significant adverse impacts that regional Australia will continue to face as our climate heats up and extreme weather events become increasingly regular and damaging.”

“The rhetoric about keeping regional jobs is pure nonsense.  Existing coal mines can provide for the interim domestic and export needs, and there are more than 1300 mining jobs currently available.”

“How easy would it be to say NO to new coal mines and coal-powered power stations?  Approving new coal mines or the expansion of existing coal mines will not take us forward in reducing emissions and we know that the renewable energy market is providing thousands of employment opportunities in regional Australia.  We should take the opportunity to start the transition of workers to a new cleaner future.”

“We need a climate policy that is based on science and which focuses on the incredible opportunities for Australia to be a renewable superpower, not deals that hold regional Australian workers in industries that are outdated and offer no future,” said Dr Rowston.