Joint media release: IPCC report highlights urgent need for ambitious climate action

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy                                                         
Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy 

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released last night confirms what we already know.

There is a rapidly closing window for transformative climate action both here and around the world.  

This latest IPCC report shows global warming has increased at an unprecedented rate over the past decade, resulting in more frequent and severe droughts and cyclones. By the 2030s, every region in the world is expected to face increasing risks from climate change.

And we know Australians will experience increasing and increasingly devastating climate events, just as we have seen in recent years.

After a decade of denial and delay, Australia finally has a federal government that is committed to taking serious action on climate change.

Before the Parliament are reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism. They are the first opportunity in over a decade for action to bring down emissions from Australia’s largest emitters.

This is the first constraint on pollution for Australia’s 215 biggest polluting facilities in over 10 years and will deliver 205 million tonnes of emissions reduction by 2030.

That’s the same emissions impact as taking two-thirds of Australia’s cars off the road.

This report makes it clear – this decade is the critical decade for action.

And the Parliament has a choice this fortnight to seize that opportunity or to squander it.

The choice is to continue to allow big emitters, including not just coal and gas, but any facilities that produce over 100,000 tonnes of emissions, to continue with no real restrictions on how much they can pollute, or to drive down Australia’s emissions with these reforms and put us on track for net zero by 2050.

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said the IPCC report highlighted the importance of getting on with the job of ambitious reforms in climate and energy.

“Ten years of denial and delay has increased the threat of climate change to our health, environment, economy and national security, the Government is acting rapidly to urgently turn this around,” Minister Bowen said.

“We’ve legislated Australia’s 43% emissions reduction target by 2030, along with net zero by 2050, supercharging a new offshore wind industry and delivering the $20 billion Rewiring the Nation investment to decarbonise our grid and take us to 82% renewables by 2030.”

“If passed, our Safeguard reforms will come into effect in just 101 days from now. And with only 82 months left before 2030 – it is critical that we seize every possible day of the remaining decade to drive down emissions.”

Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Jenny McAllister said the government was investing in support to mitigate the impacts of climate change already being experienced by communities across the country.

“In the last ten months the Albanese Government have set Australia on a credible path to net zero because our national interest depends on it, and because it’s what the community voted for.

“We are unapologetically focussed on transforming Australia’s domestic economy to a low carbon economy. It is the most important thing we can do to support the ambitious international action necessary to contain warming.

“Australians deserve protection from climate impacts and we’re taking all the necessary action to drive down emissions and turbocharge adaptation efforts,” Assistant Minister McAllister said.

“Our first budget invested scoping of the first National Climate Risk Assessment that will be a national framework to respond to current and emerging climate risks. As well as announcing grants under the Coastal and Estuarine Risk Mitigation Program to reduce the impacts of coastal erosion and future-proof communities and establishing the Torres Strait Climate Centre of Excellence to strengthen climate resilience and adaptation in the Torres Strait Islands.

“Internationally, Australia is also stepping up. We’re supporting an orderly global transformation to net zero by 2050, working with partners to decarbonise their economies and build their resilience to the impacts of climate change.”

The IPCC is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change and this report will inform the 2023 Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and its long-term goals.

The latest IPCC report is available at