Greens leader Christine Milne says dire projections for Australia in the new CSIRO climate change report must be a wake-up call for the Abbott government and big business, which are harming people and missing huge economic opportunities by refusing to minimise global warming.
"If the natural world is in trouble, then so are we, and the Abbott government's climate denial and policy destruction has got us in serious trouble indeed," said Senator Milne.
"Just getting on with it would unleash enormous amounts of innovation and creativity, but the Abbott government is stuck playing knights and dames, pretending global warming isn't happening, and digging bigger and bigger holes as part of a growth agenda that undermines us even further.
"We're already experiencing what will get worse in our lifetimes: more frequent and intense heatwaves and storms, more extreme droughts and fire events, higher sea levels and hotter temperatures.
"These projections are not based on the findings at the bottom of a teacup; they are the work of Australia's top scientists, incorporating observations of global warming that has already occurred.
"It is the height of hypocrisy for big business to be calling for political leadership in this country when their own leadership has been out to lunch with Tony Abbott on global warming.
"You can't talk about direction for the nation until you get real about global warming, adapt to the current circumstances and take advantage of the gains to be made from cutting emissions here and around the world," said Senator Milne.
"Addressing global warming means moving to 100 per cent renewable energy as quickly as possible. It means opportunities in renovating existing infrastructure and building new homes to new standards of resilience in the face of more extreme storms and heat.
"We need to be looking at which agricultural areas are going to be best to produce food into the future, not only for ourselves but also for export, and we need to get on with building up public transport."
Greens Senator Larissa Waters says Queensland is on track to be both the victim and major driver of climate change.
"It's not only taxpayers who can't afford to pay for the world's largest coal mine and port in the Galilee Basin. The whole world will pay if that coal is burned. It needs to stay in the ground," said Senator Waters.
"The acidification and ocean warming projected by the CSIRO will be lethal to the Great Barrier Reef. Inaction on climate change is killing the Reef and turning it into a fossil fuel highway will only accelerate the decline."