Contributed by Ben Wilson
According to Professor Will Steffen of the Australian Climate Council, global greenhouse emissions have started to fall, because of the growth of renewable energy sources and therefore less reliance on the use of fossil fuels.
He says that emissions growth has flat lined and that this is a significant change for the better, compared to what the situation was a decade ago.
Driving this change has been that the number of solar and wind systems installed, which has doubled every five and a Half years, thanks to those who are taking action for change. there is also the falling cost of alternatives that is now being eyed by some major corporations as a viable route to profit or savings in energy costs.
This does not mean that there is any room for complacency and that action to step up the turn away from fossil fuels is no longer urgent.
Although at the present rate, a carbon neutral goal can be reached by 2040, this is far from a done deal. It could go off course. There is also a need to go further and apply measures that will protect those parts of the environment that are already under serious threat.
Economies must be restructured, to operate sustainably in the future. This is a big task that requires working towards agreement within nations and across nations, involving a change in the way of thinking on how human beings relate not only to the environment, but within the economy, about decision making processes and how we share what we produce together.
Even in the shorter-term, here in Australia, it is critical to turn around the gridlock existing in the political system that is holding us back, and get some decisive action to get away from dependency on coal, oil and gas and serving as an incentive to encourage more use and not less.
The need to protect wilderness areas and farmland is important. Special effort is needed to stop the extinction of the Great Barrier Reef.
There is still a major battle to be fought and won.