New IPCC report unequivocal: coal is bad for humanity

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Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has backed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on its most comprehensive scientific assessment to date, which says we will stand no chance of preventing catastrophic
warming if we do not leave the majority of the world's fossil fuel reserves in the ground.

"Coal is bad for humanity, and so is Tony Abbott's denial of global warming science," said Senator Milne.

"The Abbott government needs to take its head out of the sand and face the scientific and economic reality set out in this IPCC report. Global warming is real and urgent, and politicians must act to cut emissions fast. The world has run out of time.

"Now is the time to increase renewable energy not undermine it. The Abbott government must drop its plans to destroy the RET and commit to at least 41,000gwh by 2020.

"Global emissions are at their highest levels ever and emissions that were falling under Australia's carbon price are now on the rise again.

"Australia carries the shame of being the OECD's biggest per capita polluter, exporting pollution to the world as a major exporter of coal and being the only nation to dismantle an active emissions trading scheme.

"Direct Action is a sham. Clive Palmer and Tony Abbott have struck a dirty deal to overturn the polluter pays principle and to pay polluters instead," said Senator Milne.

"The policy is just a front for the protection racket Tony Abbott is running for his mates in the fossil fuel sector.

"Coal means global warming and that is not good for humanity or the planet. The Greens will do everything possible to phase it out.

"The Abbott government's failure to phase out coal is risking our economy - Australia is increasing its coal dependence as the rest if the world gets off it. Stranded coal assets and lost jobs are staring us in the face.

"It's 24 years since the IPCC's first report and each report has become more dire in its predictions of catastrophic warming, more specific in its findings and more overwhelming in its call to action.

"The world's scientists have rejected the pathetic five per cent pollution reduction target adopted by Tony Abbott and the Labor party.

"The game is up - Prime Minister Abbott can no longer engage in high-risk denying behaviour, plead ignorance, or continue to shirk this.

"The IPCC says securing a safe climate future won't cost the earth. Failing to transition our economy will," said Senator Milne.