Report flags our dire climate change outlook
One of Noosa's most passionate climate change action advocates has taken to heart a dire warning that Australia must triple its emissions cuts within the next decade to head off a nightmare future.
The Climate Council has just released its latest findings that the country must reach net zero emissions by 2035 or suffer the catastrophic impacts of accelerating climate change and Noosa councillor Brian Stockwell needs no convincing.
Cr Stockwell said unless local communities rapidly improve their emission savings, Noosa in the coming years could be hit by dengue fever outbreaks, savage heatwaves impacting on an ageing population and regular bushfire seasons similar to the 2019 infernos.
"It makes me angry at my own generation, we've been asleep at the wheel for about 30 years," said Cr Stockwell who is council's representative on the Climate Emergency Australia strategic advisory group.
"We'll see the sort of fire conditions we had in the spring of 2019.
"We'll have the potential for more vectors like mosquitoes to affect more of the population with the tropical diseases they carry.
"It may not be just Ross River Fever, it may be as the conditions become warmer, dengue becomes more prevalent."
He said the Climate Council finding that that the global average temperature rise will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius during the 2030s meant Noosa was facing a future of severe coastal storms and erosion.
"What it (the report) does say is that everyone needs to do their bit, every one tenth of a degree reduction will make a significant difference to the effect of people's health," Cr Stockwell said.
"The main message is our response must match the scale of the worsening situation.
"People can't put it (climate action) off to the Never Never - we have some of the best renewable resources in the world and we have to lead the way on this."
He said the clear message for Noosa was that its target of zero emissions by 2026 was totally realistic with council having reduced energy emissions by about a third.
However, the councillor said urgent state and federal funding was required for Noosa to reduce its methane landfill levels which made up 63 per cent of overall emissions.
"Hopefully Noosa is leading the way on focusing on moving people rather than cars in our transport strategy," Cr Stockwell said.
Climate Council spokesman Professor Will Steffen said there was no safe level of global warming and "every fraction of a degree of avoided heating matters".
"Australia is effectively standing still, while the rest of the world - including our strategic allies and trading partners - race towards net zero emissions," Prof Steffen said.
"We can still hold global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius - to achieve this goal, all countries must collectively halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2040.
"It's time for Australia to get ahead of the curve, and act swiftly and decisively on global warming."
The warning by a council made up of climate experts comes as world leaders prepare to come together at US President Joe Biden's Climate Summit on April 22.