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Shift from coal, gas and oil to clean energy is urgent

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Staff writer ▼ | April 14, 2014
Global warmingThe report from the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms again that climate change is real and has dangerous consequences for humanity.


And an urgent shift is needed from burning coal, gas and oil to more clean energy, according to the report Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.

"There is a clear message from science: To avoid dangerous interference with the climate system, we need to move away from business as usual," said Ottmar Edenhofer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-chaired the IPCC report.

The Working Group III report was put together by 235 scientists from 57 countries and looks at ways to fight climate change.

However, some Australian scientists believe governments have so far failed despite all the talk, negotiations, agreements and promises.

"In the face of an increasingly likely crisis, they have continued to put lives of millions at risk. Grandstanding, passing the buck of responsibility and waiting for others to reduce their carbon emissions wastes precious time, time that we simply do not have," said Liz Hanna of the Australian National University and President of the Climate and Health Alliance.

Governments, industries communities and every household needs to do everything within their capacity to stop releasing carbon into the atmosphere, said Ms. Hanna. She added that Australians contribute more per head of population to the problem than any other OECD country.

"Contrary to the scare tactics, moving away from fossil fuel based economy can lead to a better, more fruitful, and healthier life than we have today. Cities promoting effective public transport systems and active transport, where people walk and cycle more, have cleaner air, more green spaces for recreation and this improves mental health," said Ms. Hanna.

On average, Australia has warmed less than one degree and this has already delivered record heat waves with temperature more than 46 degrees in major cities.

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