2007 Australian of the Year Professor Tim Flannery will today launch the Climate Commission’s latest report, The Critical Decade: Queensland climate impacts and opportunities, today at River Quay green, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane.
“The report brings together the latest research to paint a clear picture of a changing climate for Queensland. We know that failing to respond to climate change will have severe costs to our economy, our health and natural environment,” Chief Commissioner Professor Flannery said.
“This is the next chapter of the climate story, finding ways to act against climate change and seizing the opportunities that it can bring.
“People across the country are quietly rising to the challenge of climate change. We can see this in Queensland with more than 200,000 Queensland households and businesses already having put solar panels on their roofs,” said Professor Tim Flannery.
Investment in clean energy is growing around the world. In Australia, investment in clean energy totalled $4.9 billion in 2011, mostly in solar projects. In Queensland, $2.7 billion was invested in renewable energy between 2009 and 2011, mostly for small-scale solar installations.
The report highlights the real costs of a changing climate for Queenslanders, including threats to Queensland’s $14 billion agriculture industry, $17.7 billion tourism industry, and to 3.8 million Queenslanders who live along Queensland’s coastline.
“The Queensland tourism industry is important not just for Queenslanders but for the whole of Australia. It is the gateway to the rest of Australia.
“We know climate change threatens Queensland’s agricultural industries with studies showing that beef, cereal and sugar production are at risk of decline with higher temperatures, changing rainfall and the spread of pests.
“The costs are well understood but the opportunities are less widely known. The Sunshine State has one of the best solar resources in the world. The use of solar energy in Queensland has doubled in less than two years.
“This is the critical decade. Decisions that we make in the next few years will determine the severity of climate change impacts our children and grandchildren suffer. This is also a time of great opportunity,” Professor Flannery said.
The independent Climate Commission was set up to provide an open and trusted source of information on climate change science and solutions. The Climate Commission brings together internationally-renowned climate scientists with policy and business leaders. This is the Climate Commission’s 14th report.
Media contact: Amanda McKenzie 0408 117 040
“This is an important report on the risks and vulnerabilities to Queensland from climate change. By accurately summarising the current scientific evidence, the report emphasises the need for immediate and concerted action on bringing down global emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.”
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland
“Climate variability and change are real risks that those involved in agriculture manage every day and factor into long term planning. Reports such as this are very important inputs into risk assessment and managing for change.”
Ms Leith Boully, Farmer
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