The Critical Decade: An Analysis of Climate Change by an Australian Commission

The Climate Commission of Australia is an independent body set up to provide a reliable and authoritative source of information on climate change, and help inform the debate on this issue. The Commission is made up of experts from a range of fields relevant to climate change and is not subject to Government direction.

Yesterday the Climate Commission released a report entitled The Critical Decade. The Report makes a strong case that decisions we make from now to 2020 will determine the severity of climate change for decades into the future.

Other key messages in the report include:

1. There is no doubt that the climate is changing. The evidence is overwhelming and clear.

2. We are already seeing the social, economic and environmental impacts of a changing climate.

3. Human activities – the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation – are triggering the changes we are witnessing in the global climate.

The report focuses primarily on the science of climate change and provides a very readable analysis of some of the implications as well as an overview of a carbon budget approach to dealing with climate change which the authors claim is preferred within the scientific community to the targets and timetables approach which has so far been more popular with developed country governments.

The full report and the key messages summary are available at

Short biographies of the members of the Commission, chaired by Prof. Tim Flannery, are available at

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