Why 700.000 addresses face being washed off map

Climate chaos0


Sea-level rise conjures up Pacific Islanders and Bangladeshis in dire straits, but few Australians appreciate it will hit some of the most valuable homes in this country. The legal advice coming from the State Government is that beachfront home owners will have to bear the brunt of the risk.

The best hope of limiting sea-level rise from climate change is to cut global greenhouse emissions, according to the scientific advice. Yet yesterday prospects for an ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen in December appeared to be dimming.

As another round of preliminary United Nations talks ended in Bonn, the lofty goal for developed countries to cut emissions between 25 per cent and 40 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 is looking remote. With Japan and the United States facing tough resistance at home from industry, a target of 15 per cent is now being discussed seriously.

If that happens, the prospects of getting China and India on board to stop the soaring growth in their emissions will be even more difficult.

Back home, the Climate Change Minister, Penny Wong, has yet to convince the Opposition and the Greens to support the Government’s emissions trading scheme, which is supposed to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

If a less-than-ambitious climate agreement is the result, the evidence of climate scientists is that we will seriously increase the chances that the Greenland ice sheet will melt, bringing with it catastrophic sea-level rise.