Direct Action dangerous, bushfires linked to climate change: UN

Direct Action dangerous, bushfires linked to climate change: UN

22 October 2013

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Australia — THE United Nations says bushfires are “absolutely” linked to climate change and Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy is dangerous.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has told CNN the Abbott government will pay a heavy political and economic price for walking away from Labor’s commitments on climate change.

“What we need to do is put a price on carbon,” she said.

She said Australia, and the world, were already paying heavily in other ways.

“We are really already paying the price of carbon. We are paying the price with wildfires, we are paying the price with droughts.

“What we have seen are just introductions to the doom and gloom that we could be facing.”

She said Australia had not walked away from its international commitment on climate change, but was now “struggling” with how to meet those obligations.

There was “absolutely” a link between climate change and the fire crisis playing out in NSW, she said.

“The World Meteorological Organisation has not established the direct link between this wildfire and climate change – yet,” she said.

“But what is absolutely clear is that the science is telling us that there are increasing heatwaves in Asia, Europe and Australia … that they will continue in their intensity and in their frequency.”

Ms Figueres said the world was closing a window on itself, but there was still time.

“That’s not the only scenario. We could – as humankind – we could take vigorous action and we could have a very, very different scenario.”

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