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What can we expect from Copenhagen ? Ian Lowe 30 Nov. 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "What can we expect from Copenhagen ? Ian Lowe 30 Nov. 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 What can we expect from Copenhagen ? Ian Lowe 30 Nov. 2009



4 Living in the Greenhouse, 1989 Increasing average temperatures Drier in southern Australia Wetter in northern Australia More frequent extremes: floods, cyclones, extended dry spells, heatwaves, severe bushfires Spread of vector-borne diseases


6 February 2009 Extreme heatwaves in SA & Victoria Devastating Victorian bushfires Cyclonic events hit northern coasts Severe flooding in Qld, NSW Dengue outbreak Cairns, > 350 cases

7 It is getting hotter

8 Global warming is affecting Australia today





13 Arctic Sea Ice Melting projection Bjeknes Centre for Climate Research, Svalbard, Norway (2008) Satellite observations IPCC central projection

14 Climate Change Denial a) Climate not changing b)Changed but now stabilised c)Changed but it always changes d)Changed but no human cause e) Climate changed, benefits > costs

15 Earth is overheating


17 “There is now compelling evidence that both the extent and the impacts of climate change are likely to be at the higher end of the range projected by the IPCC” –Australian Climate Group 2008

18 Ban Ki Moon said: “We need - policy that puts a price on carbon... - global investment programme for renewable energy... - creative solutions to protect forests and other ecosystems... “we still face inertia... We need rapid progress” “seal the deal in Copenhagen”

19 Latest science and politics Rapid changes in Arctic Signs of positive feedback COPenhagen signs China ? USA ? 50% of the problem

20 IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri “Every country in the world has to be committed to a shared vision and a set of common goals and actions … help us move toward a much lower level of emissions”


22 Why are our emissions so high ? > 85% power from coal Inefficient appliances, stand-by… Poor building standards Push for air-conditioning Inefficient cars, high dependence Meat-intensive diet Land clearing “lifestyle” Subsidising wasteful practices

23 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1990200020102020203020402050 EnergyTransportFugitive, waste and industrial processes) AgricultureLand clearing Kyoto target 60 - 90% reductions Business As Usual Source: Adapted from the Australian Greenhouse Gas Inventory and ABARE projections Australia’s Emissions (Mt) Where we are now heading What we need to achieve

24 JSCT report, 19.03.2009 Australia should aim to cut emissions 80 per cent by 2050 Australia should support a global goal to stabilise atmospheric CO 2 level at 450 ppm or less

25 Scale & Rate of Change 2010 emissions ~10% above 1990 [accepting “Australia clause”] If 2050 target 50% below, 15% per decade If 2050 target 90% below, 25% per decade

26 IEA World Energy Outlook 2008 “nothing short of an energy revolution”


28 Renewables as practical answer NERDDC Paper 2, 1992: by 2020, 30% electricity, increasing cost by 1 c/kWh; by 2030, all power, extra 4.5 c/kWh Bright Future: 25% by 2020 would cost average household $1.25/week [and produce 17000 new jobs]


30 A responsible Australian position Serious 2020 reduction target [50% ?] Additionally, fund reductions in nearby developing countries Work toward carbon neutral by 2050 Positive role in lead-up to Copenhagen

31 Recent polling showed only 35 per cent thought we should delay action because of the state of the global economy. Only 24 per cent of swinging voters backed delay. 75 per cent of voters believed tackling climate change created opportunities for new jobs and investment in clean forms of energy. - Climate Institute, Canberra Times, 12 March 2009

32 Copenhagen: minimum outcomes Framework for post – 2012 Commitment by OECD nations Broad intent from developing Funding to help transition

33 Desirable outcomes Binding agreements Targets, timetables Real commitment Hard cash on table Technology transfer


35 Think Global, Act Local

36 Copenhagen’s cycle network Copenhagen’s active transport goals: –50% of people travel to work or places of learning by bike –80% of cyclists will feel safe in traffic conditions –Increase amount of walking by 20% compared to 2009 levels –Reduce cyclist serious injuries and death by half of 2009 levels Achievements to date: –36% of people already travel to work or places of learning by bike –60% of people use a bike for all trips –60% reduction in cyclist serious injuries or death on 1995 levels How: –A$11 - 21 million per year for infrastructure, traffic safety improvements and education campaigns Could this be done in Australia? –Literature indicates YES provided government commitment, investment and other complementary measures

37 Environmental Competitive Liveable Healthy Efficient Just Sustainability Sustainability is about living within our means. It is about managing our consumption of resources and balancing environmental, economic and social outcomes. It means improving our quality of life, but making that improvement without leaving a burden on the future generations. Looking after our Environment Environmental Sustainability is about reducing our impact on the environment by protecting our air, water and land, our native flora and fauna. It means reducing the load on our natural resources, such as water and fuels for energy, and decreasing our production of waste. A Better Place to Live Liveability is about making Sydney a better place to live. It means being able to walk to your corner shop, local school, park or bus stop, as well as providing us with a choice of housing that meets our needs. Supporting our Economy Competitiveness is about supporting Sydney's role as a Global city, and ensuring our city's long term economic prosperity. It means providing quality infrastructure and services to service our jobs and the economy, and supporting urban centres Sustainable Vision for a Sustainable City

38 S O C I E TY E N V I R T


40 S O C I E T Y E C O N O M Y E C O L O G Y

41 Photo: NASA

42 Questions ?

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