Posted on 16th June 2020 by Media Relations
In September 2013 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body responsible for assessing the science related to climate change, published its 5th Assessment Report (IPCC 5th Report) on the science of climate change. Seven Special Reports have been published by the IPCC since the 5th Assessment Report with the 6th Assessment Report scheduled to be published in 2022.
The assessments and international consensus of the IPCC established that the Earth’s climate over the past century has changed. Rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are damaging the planet’s climate system, with cascading and unprecedented impacts on the health of our natural environment, human health and our nation’s economy.
In 2019 thousands of scientists, including those at Taronga, spoke with a single voice in a scientific publication titled World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency* and detailed the transformative changes that have started to occur, and the actions by humanity that are needed to ensure a sustainable and equitable future. As underscored by the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 ‘Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’, the consequences of taking a ‘business as usual’ approach will be catastrophic.
Taronga recognises that climate change is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, human health and wellbeing, and economic prosperity in Australia and the world. Taronga believes that shared and urgent climate change action at local, national and international levels is a moral imperative.
Taronga works to be a leader in sustainable practices, to provide information on ecosystem health, climate change impacts, and to highlight the united role individuals, businesses and countries can play in undertaking a just transition to clean energy and in adapting to a changed climate.
This supports Taronga’s mandate to demonstrate leadership in environmental sustainability and threatened species conservation, focussed on adaptation and threat mitigation efforts, through scientific, educational and community initiatives that ensure species’ survival and long-term security of resilient ecosystems.
*Ripple, W.J., Wolf, C., Newsome, T.M., Barnard, P. and Moomaw, W.R., 2019. World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency. BioScience 70(1):8-12. (Taronga scientists are signatories on this paper).