One weather station in Antarctica on Friday recorded temperatures about 40 degrees warmer than average.CREDIT:WEATHERBELL
UN boss: ‘Madness’ to back fossil fuels as global energy crunch bites
Turning back to fossil fuels due to the global energy shock caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be “madness” and risk “mutually assured destruction”, the United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has warned in a speech to an energy and climate summit.
After the “naive optimism” that marked the Glasgow climate talks, the goal to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees is in “intensive care” with emissions caused by energy soaring to new highs in 2021 as the world economy rebounded from the pandemic, said Mr Guterres.
Mr Guterres laid the blame at the feet of wealthy nations in general and called out Australia in particular.
“If we want to stop global warming, we need to go to the source – the G20,” said Mr Guterres in a speech to a climate summit in London hosted by The Economist magazine on Monday evening Australian time.
“The developed and emerging economies of the G20 account for 80 per cent of all global emissions.
“A growing number of G20 developed economies have announced meaningful emissions reductions by 2030 – with a handful of holdouts, such as Australia.”
He said it was good news that all G20 nations, including economic powerhouses like China, Japan and Korea, had agreed to stop funding coal use abroad, but now they needed to end domestic coal use if we were to have any hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
“As major economies pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy to replace Russian fossil fuels, short-term measures might create long-term fossil fuel dependence and close the window to 1.5 degrees,” Mr Guterres said.
“Countries could become so consumed by the immediate fossil fuel supply gap that they neglect or knee-cap policies to cut fossil fuel use.
“This is madness. Addiction to fossil fuels is mutually assured destruction.
“As current events make all too clear, our continued reliance on fossil fuels puts the global economy and energy security at the mercy of geopolitical shocks and crises.”
A spokesman for Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said that while global emissions are forecast to increase by around 14 per cent this decade, Australia’s emissions are forecast to fall by up to 15 per cent.
“The Morrison Government will continue to take real and practical action to reduce emissions – and reduce the cost of the technologies that will make net zero practically achievable,” he said.
Last week an analysis by scientists at Climate Resource and commissioned by WWF found that Australia was on track to emit twice as much greenhouse gas as it should if the nation was to do its fair share of keeping the world to 1.5 degrees.
Mr Guterres’ speech comes as scientists nervously watch record-breaking heat waves at both poles and a marine heatwave that has already begun to cause widespread bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.
Last week warm moist air from southern Australia travelled south and penetrated unusually deep into east Antarctica, driving temperatures up by between 10 and 40 degrees above normal.
“It could have just been a freak weather event. That happens. But if this starts happening regularly it would be seriously terrifying,” said Dr Will Hobbs, a scientist with the Australian Antarctic Program Partnership at the University of Tasmania.
Also last week a so-called “bomb cyclone” drew warm air from North America into the Arctic, driving temperatures to 10 degrees above average during what should be the region’s coldest period.
Meanwhile, a team of UNESCO experts has arrived in Australia to visit the Great Barrier Reef to report on the health of the reef to the World Heritage Committee. Its visit coincides with a marine heatwave that caused another outbreak of coral bleaching on parts of the reef.
“Whether any of these events can be attributed to climate change, we don’t yet know,” said Dr Hobbs, who also works with the Australian Research Council’s Centre for Excellence for Climate Extremes.
“But all of them are in keeping with predictions for anthropogenic climate change.”
“We MUST respect this earth - it is all we have
Claudio Dametto - South Australia
“I will always Vote to Preserve Our World.
Liam McGregor - Western Australia
“A simple message that even a politician can understand
Felicity Crombach - Victoria
“Please show you care about our future generations!!
Phil Harmer - New South Wales
“Save our world , Life & health before profits.
Kerry Lillian - New South Wales
“Close down all coal mines and Do not mine gas . Make these Companies
Daniel Johnson - New South Wales
“We want carbon free energy!
Edan Clarke - New South Wales
“Feels good to be taking a voter action step
Beaver Hudson - New South Wales
“Great Initiative. Let’s Hold elected officials Accountable to their bosses, us!
John Paul Posada - New South Wales
“We need actions not words we need honest democratic govt We need a pm
Bob Pearce - South Australia
“Thank you for this great resource. I was feeling helpless. Even this small step
Silvia Anderson - Victoria
“If political parties continue receiving political donations, we will rarely have politicians working for
Dan Chicos - New South Wales
“I only vote for people who will take urgent action to restore a safe
Susie Burke - Victoria
“Current government is not representing the opinion of the majority of Australian to meet
Neil Price - Tasmania
“We are fighting to rescue our kids' future from those who seek to steal
Vanessa Norimi - Queensland
“No time to waste Now or Never My vote is for NOW
Rosalie White - Victoria
“I am only 9 but I already care
Ava Bell - New South Wales
“From New Lambton Uniting Church - Caring for our world is a moral imperative.
Niall McKay - New South Wales
“Our federal govt is an International climate Embarrassment - its about time they stepped
Oriana Tolo - Victoria
“Vote earth this time!
Sue Cooke - Queensland
“We are in one on the wealthiest countries in the world. we have the
rowan huxtable - New South Wales
“The climate Emergency is the public health opportunity and urgent priority of the 21st
Mike Forrester - Victoria
“If they want my vote they better act now
Barbara McNiff - New South Wales
“We need to act locally now for the earth. Our only home. Vote Earth
Anne Miller - New South Wales
“I often look at the places I've known all my life and see how
Jim Baird - New South Wales
“Strike one For people power!!! Democracy might prevail outside the current cronyism that faces
Lorraine Bridger - New South Wales
“Our federal politicians Are Afraid to make action on climate change a major election
Jennifer Martin - New South Wales
“climate election, let's go!
Fahimah Badrulhisham - New South Wales
“Great to see this website that is a focus on action for climate change
Lynette Sinclair - New South Wales
“Let’s show politicians and the Murdoch media that climate change is by far the
Jane Aitken - Australian Capital Territory
“If you want to stay in power You need to take action to stop
Jane Bulter - New South Wales
“We are all that stands between terminal climate change and the vulnerable. We are
Carol Khan - Queensland
“We need a Government that Believes this is real and not taking money from
Ken Gray - New South Wales
“I'm voting for my childrens future
Anneliese Alexander - New South Wales