Walking the talk on climate change

THE Bureau of Meteorology released its annual climate statement, demonstrating that 2015 was the hottest year globally on record, eclipsing the record set the previous year.

Every year since 1985 has observed an above-average global mean temperature.

Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000 the other was 1998.

In November and December, world leaders met in Paris to finalise a global agreement to cut the greenhouse gases driving climate change.

Government, business and community leaders from around the world stood together to call for international climate action an historic moment that set a framework for a dramatic decrease in carbon pollution.

While I’m pleased with the symbolism of our government signing up the ‘High Ambition Coalition’ (which pushed for an upper limit of warming to 1.5 degrees), there is still a gaping disconnect between that ambition and the current policies in place, which still have us on the path to a global temperature increase of at least three or four degrees.

A report released quietly during the Christmas period showed that our national emissions are going up, with Australia generating 549.3 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2014-15.

And there’s no sign of it going down.

Every decision our government makes now must be measured against the promises it has made in Paris.

Approving mega coal mines, coal port expansions and still seeking to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency are not in keeping with the Paris agreement.

As a professional risk manager, I believe that not to act is reckless and negligent.

This is not what I expect of our elected representatives, nor should any of us.