Australia is a big, wide country. It sprawls continental, a massive landscape of burnished rock and dusty grasslands, vivid rainforests and agricultural plains – a miraculous but struggling biodiversity hotspot. It’s also one of the world’s more significant contributors to climate change and, of the so-called ‘developed’ nations, one of the most reticent to abandon its attachment to the fossil-fuel sector.
All that land, all that coal, all that CO2. But what to do with it all?
This week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the third part of its sixth assessment report, a hefty set of documents years in the making.
While climate change news tends to trend towards the pessimistic, the report finds that the world’s emissions could be halved by 2030 – necessary to have any hope of limiting warming below 1.5°C – provided we rapidly cut our emissions and engage in serious carbon sequestration efforts.