Australian Government

Australia’s low pollution future

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Courtesy of Australian Government

Climate change poses a substantial threat to Australia’s economy and our way of life. Australia faces a choice. We can either wait and leave our children and grandchildren to face the full impacts of climate change, or we can take responsible action now by investing in the industries and jobs of the future. Why we need to act? As a hot and dry country, we have more to lose than any other developed nation if the world fails to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change. We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in Australia and across the globe. In the past twelve years, we have experienced eleven of the hottest years since records began and temperatures are projected to continue to rise over the next century. In Australia, temperatures are expected to rise by around five degrees by the end of the century. Coastal properties will be threatened by rising sea levels and tidal surges. Food production from our farms will be reduced as a result of longer, more frequent and more intense droughts. National treasures, including the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu wetlands and the big tourism industries they support will be under threat.

That’s why we need to act decisively to protect our way of life and the Australian economy. Climate change and the global financial crisis The world is currently confronting the worst financial crisis in three quarters of a century, but this does not mean we can ignore the threat climate change poses to our long term economic prosperity. On the contrary, this current crisis makes it more important we secure the long term prosperity that comes from building the low pollution economy of the future. It is often easier for governments to focus on immediate circumstances at the expense of long term challenges, but ignoring these challenges only makes them worse. Analysis from the Australian Treasury and Professor Ross Garnaut demonstrates the longer we wait to take action on climate change, the more it will cost.

The Australian Government will continue to act decisively to protect Australia from the worst effects of the global financial crisis while also addressing the long term challenge of climate change. The Government is determined to get the balance right. This means securing Australian jobs and assisting households today, while at the same time moving to the low pollution economy that will create the jobs of the future.

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