Abbott government must heed IPCC report and step up climate action

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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its long-anticipated fifth report and the Australian Greens say the message is clear: no one on the planet will be unaffected by climate change and governments must act to protect their communities.

"In the face of more calls for a global response, the Abbott government wants to rip up every policy and tear down every defence that Australia has against climate change," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"This report shows that climate change is overwhelming and will affect every aspect of our lives. Not only will it dramatically impact the natural world we live in, it is an economic issue, an employment issue, a health, housing, and agricultural issue. It's an immigration and a transportation issue.

"Prime Minister Abbott's refusal to include consideration of climate change in his drought relief package is a case in point. The cost of not acting is far greater than the cost of action, so why is Tony Abbott so intent on exposing our communities to greater risk and cost by refusing to help them prepare for extreme floods, fires and heat waves?

"With the price on pollution, the Renewable Energy Target and bodies like the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Australia is moving in the right direction and this must be scaled up, not torn down.

"The emergency we face means we need to strengthen our resolve, not back away from action on climate change.

"This new IPCC report has an extra focus on the risks posed by climate change, and the chair of the IPCC has warned that not a single person on this planet will be untouched," said Senator Milne.

"Our health is at risk, our food security is at risk, our homes and infrastructure and jobs are at risk.

"These reports have been coming out since 1990. How much more warning do we need?

"It's time for the Abbott government to stop propping up the old polluting industries at the expense of a sustainable, and frankly liveable, future."