Sunday, September 28, 2008

Scientists push PM for 25pc emissions cut

ABC News Online, Posted 4 hours 59 minutes ago 

Updated 2 hours 5 minutes ago

A group of top level climate change experts has written a letter to the Prime Minister arguing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions by only 10 per cent would be dangerous.

The Federal Government's climate change adviser, Professor Ross Garnaut, will release his final report on climate change tomorrow.

Professor Garnaut recently flagged a target of 10 per cent reductions by 2020, drawing criticism from the scientific community for not being high enough.

But he also said a 25 per cent cut would be more effective.

Professor Matthew England from the University of New South Wales says he and 15 of his peers are urging Kevin Rudd to decide on a 25 per cent cut in emissions.

"This is unprecedented for a group of scientists to write a letter to the Prime Minister of a nation advocating a certain emissions trajectory," he said.

"It's just a message of 'take the deepest cuts possible' because the science tells us that anything less than than will commit us to dangerous climate change.

"A couple of weeks ago we had the release of an interim report from the Garnaut team and that stated, it came away from the 450 target and it went right up to 550 which is really a dangerous level of carbon dioxide to be speaking about."

Priorities changing

A new poll shows Australians are becoming less concerned about climate change.

Research conducted by the Lowy Institute looked at the public's foreign policy priorities now, compared with last year.

Those surveyed still consider both global warming and water shortages critical threats to the country.

But tackling climate change itself has fallen from first to fifth as a foreign policy goal, replaced by job security and strengthening the economy.

The poll also revealed that a majority of people are unwilling to pay more than $10 extra per month for greener electricity.

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