On Monday the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the final part of its 5th Assessment Report. This enormous review of climate change science, the first since 2007, involved nearly 4,000 experts reviewing 30,000 scientific papers.
The results are sobering. The IPCC makes clear that climate change will inflict "severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts" unless rapid action is taken to slash carbon pollution.
"Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents. If left unchecked, climate change will increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems." IPCC 5TH Assessment Report
The IPCC makes a clear case for action, and includes encouragement that we do have options to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC and Nobel Peace Prize-winner, said "we have the means to limit climate change. The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change."
Cities like Sydney are taking action to reduce our contribution to climate change. But this problem cannot be left to us to solve alone.
Governments have made very little serious progress to address climate change on a national or international level.
In Australia, the Abbott Government has eliminated the price on carbon - the most economically efficient and environmentally effective way to reduce pollution. It has also decided to slash the amount of renewable energy being produced. The woeful lack of concern about our environment is a long term threat to our community's safety and prosperity.
Rajendra Pachauri stressed that addressing climate change could only be achieved through cooperative responses, including international cooperation.
I strongly urge the Abbott Government to act and protect the long term interests of our community by getting serious about climate change.