Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top scientists urge Govt to remain focused on climate change

ABC News Online, Posted Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:37pm AEDT 

Updated Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:36pm AEDT


More than 40 of Australia's top scientists are urging the Federal Government not to let the world financial crisis stop urgent action on climate change.

The scientists have all signed a nine-point action plan that calls for reducing carbon emissions locally and globally by 25 to 30 per cent by 2020.

Dr Andrew Glickson from the Australian National University co-authored the plan and says there's a climate crisis that needs just as much attention as the problems on Wall Street.

"That $700 billion which the US is directing towards failed credit markets, that's about the magnitude of expenditure which is urgently required in order to do something effective but it seems that the environment has been taken for granted," he said.

One of the group says moves to solve the global financial crisis show what the world can do when it has the will to act

Professor Barry Brook, head of climate change studies at Adelaide University, says the credit crisis shows that political will can bring swift results.

"They've shown they can do that with the banking system," he said.

"It's not such a large step to say 'let's do they same with the energy supply crisis', which in turn feeds on to problems which are underpinning climate change and more broadly environmental sustainability."

Professor Brook says scientists are concerned that global warming seems to be slipping off the global agenda.

"So I think it's disappointing in the sense that right now the interest is not in solving the climate problem in a serious way," he said.

"It's about solving capitalist business as usual but nevertheless it's encouraging in that it shows that there is a possibility that society will make that leap," he said.

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