The Greens are the only political party in Australia calling for a national action plan on climate change, seeking emissions targets to keep global warming below two degrees.
Anything above that will be a disaster for humanity, the Climate Council's Will Steffen told a packed Byron Theatre this week.
He was addressing Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) supporters – the group seeking to engage the whole Byron Shire in building a zero carbon community by 2025 across five key sectors: energy, waste, land use, buildings and transport.
Prof Steffen painted a disturbing picture, with a hike in extreme weather events, submerged coastlines, fresh water crises and massive migration a few of the consequences of a warming planet. Droughts will worsen in several key food-producing areas of the world, including southeast Australia, and rainfall will increase in others, bringing devastating floods.
Some of the impacts, such as the fate of coral reefs around the globe, are believed to have already passed the tipping point.
We have a narrow window of opportunity to keep the rise in emissions at a survivable level, Prof Steffen said, and the panel discussion that followed his talk outlined some of the things that can be done by individuals to work towards that, including calling upon our politicians to address the situation, installing solar panels and divesting from fossil fuel investments.
Find out more about Zero Emissions Byron here
ZEB talk, with Amelia Hicks, Sue Higginson and Will Steffen.