Australia’s emissions projected to double by 2050

Country’s environment “going backwards”, says new report

 
By Rajit Sengupta
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

Australia will see four degrees of warming by the end of this century which would be enough to destroy the coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef, says the report (Wireless Travel Blog)

Environment group Australian Conservation Foundation recently announced the Australia We Love report which clearly highlights the country’s poor state of environment. Here are highlights of the report:

Freshwater

More than 85 per cent of rivers in Australia have been modified due to irrigation, dams and other development pressures

Of the sixty-eight zones of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s most significant agricultural region, only one zone is rated in good health

Almost one-third of the 851 nationally important wetlands in Australia do not have adequate water supply or flow to maintain their health

Climate Change

Concentrations of greenhouse pollution in the atmosphere are higher than any time in the last 800,000 years, and emissions are projected to increase by 50 per cent by 2050

The country will see four degrees of warming by the end of this century

Two degrees of climate warming will likely mean the loss of most coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef, 80 per cent of freshwater wetlands from Kakadu National Park, and Queensland’s tropical forests It is estimated that by 2050, increases in climate change-related bushfire damage in southeastern

Australia will have cost an additional US $1.5 billion per year (over and above the costs if no climate change took place)

Pollution

More than 3,000 Australians die each year from air-pollution-related illness, nearly twice the national road toll

Each Australian family contributes enough rubbish each year to fill a three-bedroom house from floor to ceiling, and the total amount of waste generated in the future is projected to increase

The health costs of air pollution in Australia are estimated to be in the order of US $11.1 billion to US $24.3 billion annually

Oceans

Since 1985, more than half of the coral cover of the Great Barrier Reef has been lost

Remaining coral cover is predicted to be lost with two degrees warming through climate change

Habitat Change

Australia cleared an average of 1 million hectares of native vegetation per year between 2000 and 2010

At least 50 per cent of all wetlands in Australia have been drained, filled or destroyed

About 1,259 plants, 396 animals and 67 ecological communities are listed as threatened by the Australian government

Invasive species have significantly contributed to extinctions in most regions of Australia, including more than 40 native mammals, birds and frogs

Humans in Australia

By 2100, Australian population is projected to be between 42 and 70 million people

Total consumption per person in Australia is one of the highest in the world, and is projected to increase by up to 27 per cent by 2030, with far-reaching impacts on nature including biodiversity, land use, climate and water

By 2050, energy consumption in Australia is projected to increase by around 21 per cent, with only 14 per cent coming from renewable sources

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