“That same study says if (we) go to 2 degrees global – which would be 2.5C or more in Australia – it would actually make those bushfires 400 to 800 per cent more probable,” Christiana Figueres, former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told ABC’s RN Breakfast on Tuesday.
“That is just something that we cannot even fathom.”
Even more alarming is that the world is headed for much higher warming than 2 degrees.
“I wish we were heading for 2 (degrees), that would be good news,” Ms Figueres said.
“The fact is that if every single government meets what they registered under the Paris Agreement five years ago, and then does no more than that … and makes no further efforts, then we would be heading for 3.7 degrees, which is a world that is basically uninhabitable for human beings.”
Ms Figueres said the bushfires this year were a line in the sand and “to have that future pulled into the present was actually horrifying”. It also highlighted that Australia was one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
“Yes, Australia is responsible for only 1.3 per cent of emissions, however as we have seen from the bushfires, Australia is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change,” she said.
“It cannot solve climate change on its own, it needs the solidarity of most, if not all, of the other countries.
“And if Australia does not contribute to the solution, there’s no way it can ask other countries to contribute to the solution.”