A plea to his own government for stronger action on climate change by Warren Entsch, Federal Member for Leichhardt and Special Envoy to the Reef, has won the applause of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).
AMCS campaigner Elise Springett said “….as custodians of our reef, Australia must lead and advocate for a climate-focused recovery, pulling our weight in the global effort to combat climate change.”
In a letter to the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, Mr Entsch said that while we need to shore up our economic situation “… we must not accept a scaled back response to climate change.”
“While at present our Reef remains a vibrant ecosystem, without sufficient global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions-the Reef’s continued decline over the decades ahead is virtually inescapable.”
Mr Entsch acknowledged Australia’s efforts to reduce emission alone would not make an appreciable difference to global temperature rises, but he said “… the combined emissions of Australia and other similar sized emitters (ie less than two percent) make up 40 percent of global emissions.”
“If any one country in this cohort should seek to abdicate responsibility for their fair share, others may be inclined to do the same.”
According to the Climate Change Authority, Australia would have to increase its ambition from the current commitment to reducing GHG emissions by 26 – 28% (2005 – 2030) to an emission reduction target of 46% in order to stay below two degrees Celcius.
Mr Entsch was asked by DouglasNews.Network if he agreed with the Authority’s assessment, and if so, would he support increasing the target to 46%. DouglasNews.Network also asked Mr Entsch additional questions regarding his commitment to combatting climate change. He declined the request for comment for this article.
When asked for a comment by DouglasNews.Network, Douglas Shire Sustainability Group President Didge McDonald said that Mr Entsch’s recent discovery that climate change is a threat to the Reef raises more questions than it answers,
Mr McDonald went on to say that Mr Entsch’s abysmal track record on the environment does nothing to suggest he is ‘fair dinkum’ in what he says on climate change.
In closing, Didge McDonald comments,
“I respectfully suggest that if Mr Entsch takes his job as ‘Reef Envoy’ seriously, he spend the time he has left in the role advancing proven practical measures to address climate change, such as carbon credit schemes, and not actively undermine them as he did with the initiative of the previous Douglas Shire Council.”
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