15 January 2014
After a week of sweltering heat and fires, rising temperatures are heading East and the impacts of global warming are being felt in Sydney, said the Australian Greens.
"2014 began with extraordinary temperatures and devastating fires. Just as we saw the destructive capacity of extreme weather events in the Blue Mountains last year, again we have witnessed the devastation of extreme heat and fires in Western Australia," said Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.
"Now, a second big heatwave is heading for Sydney and we're looking at high to very high fire danger ratings. Families in Western Sydney without the respite of sea breezes, will be the worst hit.
"Yet, despite last year's extraordinary record-breaking heat and unprecedented scientific certainty of the impacts of global warming, the Abbott government is trying to tear down the price on pollution which is our best defence against future extreme storms, droughts and fires.
"It beggars belief that while people in Sydney - and around the country - are already feeling the effects of climate change, Tony Abbott would let his ideological position get in the way of the hard facts.
"The Climate Council has warned that global warming will bring more extreme weather and heat waves and we can't pretend it's not going to happen. We must prepare for it and stop it getting worse by reducing greenhouse pollution.
"The clean energy laws are already reducing greenhouse pollution and creating jobs. It really is time for Tony Abbott to abandon his ideological rejection of the climate science and put the Australian community first," said Senator Rhiannon.
Impacts of global warming in Sydney:
• Sydney will experience more variable rainfall, stronger winds, and droughts, leading to more extreme weather events.
• Between 43,900 and 65,300 residential buildings in NSW at risk of inundation from a sea level rise of 1.1 metres - and homes in Rockdale local government area are some of NSW's highest risk dwellings
• 176 people die each year in Sydney from heat-related deaths. This could rise to 417 a year by 2020 and 1312 by 2050.
• Sydney's water supply is at risk. There may be a decrease in annual rainfall and runoff in the inland catchments by 2030.
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