The finding of the latest State of the Climate Report, to be released today, that global greenhouse
gas levels are at the highest level in nearly a million years underscores an urgent need for dramatic
cuts from Australia’s biggest polluting sectors, including a reduction in coal exports, according to
the Nature Conservation Council of NSW.
“The finger prints on these record levels of carbon dioxide in 800,000 years firmly trace the
pollution back to the dirty fossil fuels burnt in power stations and cars each day,” Chief Executive
Officer Pepe Clarke said today.
“Australia must take responsibility for its significant contribution to carbon pollution both at home
and when our export coal is burned abroad.
“Australia is the largest exporter of black coal in the world, shipping about 260 million tonnes a
year to countries including Japan, South Korea and China. When burned overseas, Australian coal
produces more emissions than those produced by our entire domestic economy, helping to drive
dangerous global levels of pollution.
“The State of Climate Report tells us global temperatures have already risen by one degree over
the past century, yet in the past four decades Australia has continued increasing its production of
“With coal exports tipped to double in the next two decades, if we don’t act now increased
emissions from burning our coal overseas will dramatically overshadow our efforts to cut
emissions at home.
“The highest levels of carbon pollution since humans evolved presents us all with a challenge:
progress towards a low‐carbon economy or face a hostile new environment that threatens our
wellbeing and very future,” Mr Clarke said.