Scientists around the world have declared a climate emergency, warning that countries including Australia are not doing enough to limit warming.
More than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries have signed a scientific paper, published in the journal BioScience, that declares the climate crisis “has arrived” and warning that is accelerating “faster than most scientists expect.”
The declaration is based on more than four decades of data examining energy use, surface temperature, population growth, land clearing, deforestation, polar ice mass, fertility rates, gross domestic product and carbon emissions.
Scientists warn that the Earth faces a climate emergency “clearly and unequivocally.”
“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat,” the paper said.
“From the data we have, it is clear we are facing a climate emergency.”
The paper advised policy makers to consider all human activities that result in increased emissions.
“The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle,” the paper said.
“The most affluent countries are mainly responsible for the historical (greenhouse gas) emissions and generally have the greatest per capita emissions.”
“Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with a few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this.”
A separate report published by the nonprofit Universal Ecological Fund on Wednesday said that the majority of country pledges under the Paris agreement were not enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Australia’s pledge to cut emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 were considered to only be partially sufficient.
Nearly three-quarters of the pledges including those from China, the United States and India were considered insufficient.