The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have released their latest report on climate change mitigation.
The report is unequivocal that the next few years are critical. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting 1.5°C is beyond reach. It found that:
- Average annual greenhouse emissions are at the highest levels in human history – emissions are now 54 per cent higher than they were in 1990.
- We are currently headed for a 14 per cent increase in climate pollution by 2030, not the 45 per cent global cut required.
- Global greenhouse gas emissions must peak by 2025 and at least halve this decade to give the world a chance of limiting future warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
- The IPCC report also calls out the need to embed equity principles in the solutions to reduce emissions and adapt to the climate change impacts already locked.
- There is no room for expanding fossil fuels like coal and gas.
Fair, Fast, Inclusive Action
Shelter WA calls for fair, fast and inclusive climate change action right now. As a priority, we urgently need to decarbonise the built environment and ensure that people on lower incomes are provided with assistance to ensure their homes are thermally comfortable and energy efficient.
Climate change exacerbates existing disadvantage and affects the most vulnerable first, worse, and for longer. These people also have fewer resources to cope, adapt and recover from climate impacts or to benefit fully in the energy transition.
Australia is already experiencing the consequences of a lack of action to address climate change, with thousands of people losing their homes in recent floods and bushfires.
The solutions exist for governments to relieve the suffering of people living in sub-standard housing while simultaneously creating jobs and cutting emissions. We recommend the implementation of mandatory energy efficiency standards in rental properties and investment in a large-scale energy efficiency and rooftop solar programs for low-income housing.
Shelter WA acknowledges the investment undertaken by the State Government through the Smart Energy for Social Housing program and the Household Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES), however, we call for both the Federal and WA State Government to significantly increase current investment and commit to a major energy efficiency retrofit program for social homes. This investment should prioritise those in extreme heat and cold regions and with a focus on ensuring the health and thermal comfort of tenants.
The evidence is clear – there is now no time to waste.