Five ways that Australia is failing to prepare for the effects of climate change.
The world is warming, the sea is rising, more extreme weather is on its way, and climate change is having an impact on our lives.
But the nation’s leaders have been ignoring those warning signs.
And that has got a lot of Australians worried.
One reason is the Rudd government has spent the last decade building a $5.3 billion plan to develop a sustainable future for Australia.
But it has been criticised by the environment, tourism and community groups for neglecting to address the key threats to the country’s natural environment.
In December, a report from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) called for a full review of the Rudd Government’s climate change plan and recommended a comprehensive overhaul of the nations infrastructure to deal with the changing climate.
“This is a major undertaking that requires significant investment in infrastructure, and it is a massive undertaking to build an ecosystem, and in particular an ecosystem that can withstand the impacts of climate,” EPA’s report said.
It noted that the Government’s plan is “far from comprehensive” and that a comprehensive strategy “would require substantial investment in public transport, road and rail systems, housing, housing services, education, and energy and water supplies”.
The EPA’s recommendations would require significant investment to ensure that Australia’s “innovative and forward-thinking economy can adapt to the changing environment”.
The plan, which was put to a national referendum in December, proposes a $1 billion investment in the National Infrastructure Plan.
The report said this would be a “huge and significant investment”.
The Government has yet to make a decision on whether it will put forward a plan to address Australia’s climate vulnerability.
It has also refused to provide any evidence that it will fund a national plan to mitigate the impacts from climate change on the economy and on the environment.
A major review of Australia’s infrastructure would be needed to deal specifically with climate change and the impact of its natural environment on the future of Australia.
It would also require a comprehensive plan to adapt to and address the impacts that climate change has on our country.
The EPA report said the Government should be building a plan on a “national and international basis” and “be prepared to engage with other nations and international organisations” to make the proposal.
The Rudd Government has also ignored calls for the Rudd Climate Change Strategy to include a comprehensive national strategy to address climate change, the Environment Agency’s report found.
It said this is an “extremely important” and important priority for the Government.
It was also criticised for “failing to identify and implement significant changes to Australia’s energy system and infrastructure”.
But the EPA’s review found that Australia had been moving towards “more ambitious” renewable energy targets than most other nations.
In June, the Rudd Coalition announced the $5 billion Clean Energy Investment Strategy, a plan that includes $1.3bn for renewable energy and $2.6 billion for nuclear energy.
It also included a $700 million investment in “energy efficiency”.
“This includes $200 million for renewable solar projects and $400 million for wind,” the EPA said.
“Other measures include $1bn to support the development of clean energy infrastructure, including $500 million for a renewable energy investment fund.”
But in a statement on Monday, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said the government was not making a commitment to a plan.
“Our plan is focused on meeting Australia’s targets and ensuring we’re on track to meet our climate commitments, as well as building the infrastructure needed to achieve our goals,” Mr Frydenburg said.
But he said it was a “challenge” to put a plan together, given the “difficult terrain” Australia faces.
“While we are committed to supporting the implementation of our Climate Change Action Plan, we have made clear that this plan will be a very ambitious blueprint to get us there,” Mr Frysenberg said.
Mr Fryenberg also said that Australia was taking steps to improve our carbon intensity.
“The Government will also be introducing measures to ensure we can meet our carbon emissions reduction targets and deliver the climate action we promised to deliver in our election manifesto,” he said.