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UN Climate Chief urges Australia to beware of climate tipping points



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Christine Milne

Australian Senate Australian Greens Leader

media release

Wednesday 24 October 2012 UN Climate Chief urges Australia to beware of climate tipping points Today’s warnings by United Nations climate chief, Christiana Figueres, of the urgency of global warming and the unimaginable threat of tipping points should encourage the Gillard Government to lift our ambition to deeper pollution cuts faster. “Christiana Figueres has rightly brought attention back to the urgency of cutting the pollution that drives global warming, and pointed to the benefits of being part of the global movement to transition to a truly clean economy,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said. “Ms Figueres’ support for the Clean Energy package as a positive first step for Australia shows that what we have achieved here is being noticed around the world. “Our price on pollution and investment in renewable energy are part of what Ms Figueres refers to as the shift from a ‘you move first’ phase to a ‘first mover’ phase, with the world making more progress on climate action than ever before but still a long way to go before we are doing what we need to prevent climate tipping points. “In Australia, governments bending over backwards to export more coal is our Achilles heel, showing that neither the Labor nor Liberal parties yet understand what we need to do to tackle the climate crisis and that we can only make progress with Greens influencing these decisions. “I am particularly proud of the independent scientific Climate Change Authority, which was a key plank of the agreement between the Government and the Greens to put a price on pollution, and which will be recommending science-based pollution cuts for Australia from 2014 onwards. “I agree with Ms Figueres that it is absolutely in our national interest to sign up to a second phase of the Kyoto Protocol, but Australia should also be putting pollution cuts on the table that are closer to what the science demands. “While we managed to convince Labor to lift its 2050 target from 60% cuts to 80%, we are yet to see a commitment from either Labor or the Coalition to anything approaching what the science demands - a zero carbon economy as soon as possible.” Senator Milne will be meeting with Christiana Figueres in Sydney on Friday. Contact Alexandra Lamb on 0437 587 562