A group of more than 200 scientists will on Monday urge returning parliamentarians to urgently reduce Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and work diplomatically to achieve coordinated global climate action, after a catastrophic summer of fires.
In an open letter timed to coincide with the resumption of the parliamentary year in Canberra, the group says scientific evidence unequivocally links human-caused climate change to the increasing risk of frequent and severe bushfires in the Australian landscape.
It says that same science tells us “these extreme events will only grow worse in the future without genuine concerted action to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases”. The letter says the science suggests a need for immediate action to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions, and manage a rapid transition to net zero emissions by 2050.
One of the signatories to the open letter, the Australian National University climate scientist Nerilie Abram, says the letter is “the product of despair as scientists witnessed the deadly fire season unfold”.
“Scientists have been warning policymakers for decades that climate change would worsen Australia’s fire risk, and yet those warnings have been ignored,” she said.