9 June – Former chairman of the Australian Coal Association, Ian Dunlop, made a powerful plea to business to act against climate change in an article published in The Age on Monday.
“Large corporations, more than any other groups, have the financial muscle and the intellectual capability to understand the climate science and its implications. Yet they are silent, despite the fact that they have known about the risks for years and have a fiduciary responsibility to look after the interests of their shareholders in perpetuity,” he said.
“The latest authoritative science indicates that we may face catastrophic, irreversible outcomes as the full effect of even the current 387 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere unfolds. Despite much rhetoric from political leaders, virtually nothing has been done so far to contain emissions.
“Meanwhile, the policy debate is built around science that is at least six years out of date. As a result it is aimed at the wrong problem – stabilising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in the 450-550 ppm range, with emission reduction targets of 5-15 per cent, possibly 25 per cent by 2020, and 60 per cent by 2050. Even 450 ppm exposes us to unacceptable risks. The science is now calling for stabilisation around 300 ppm and emission reductions of 45-50 per cent by 2020 and 95-100 per cent by 2050.
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