A 50 percent reduction in Aussie GHG emissions implausible

Source: MakeLemonade.nz

Te Whanganui-a-Tara – A group of Australian sports people headed by former Wallabies captain David Pocock have got together to tackle the climate crisis.

The campaign, named The Cool Down, was launched by Pocock who, after retiring from rugby two years ago, is focusing his energies on conservation and climate activism.

Pocock is joined by more than 300 current and former athletes who have penned an open letter to the nation’s leaders encouraging bold action be taken as extreme weather events become more frequent.

The campaign highlights the connection between extreme weather events and sport and how bushfire smoke has affected sport.

In Australia, it found average temperatures above land had already increased by about 1.4C since 1910. The open letter, which people are invited to sign, says sport’s future is more uncertain than ever, but its power has never been more important.

The latest assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has found human activities were unequivocally heating the planet and causing changes not seen for centuries and in some cases thousands of years.

The world’s leading authority on climate science found greenhouse gas emissions were already affecting weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe, helping cause increased heatwaves, heavier rainfall events and more intense droughts and tropical cyclones, the report found.

In Australia, it found average temperatures above land had already increased by about 1.4C since 1910. The open letter, which people are invited to sign, says sport’s future is more uncertain than ever, but its power has never been more important.

The Australian government is facing increasing pressure to increase the 2030 emissions target it set six years ago – a 26 to 28 percent cut below 2005 – and join the more than 100 countries that have set a mid-century net zero emissions goal.

But a 50 percent reduction in Australian greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 seems technically implausible, probably economically unaffordable and certainly socially unacceptable.

Setting ambitious but unachievable targets that stimulate aggressive political and social pushback seems unlikely to create momentum for the sustained multi-decade consensus required.

Threatening to bulldoze the house to put out a kitchen fire may cause a standoff which causes the house to burn down. All countries need to begin acting and spend less time in debating targets that go unmet.