Moving from rhetoric to action – a joint statement on COP26

The presidents of Australia’s five learned academies have issued a joint statement on COP26 and Australia’s path to net-zero emissions.

“The challenges presented by climate change require smart, holistic and cross-disciplinary thinking. We need to continue developing and communicating research to challenge misinformation with robust evidence and steward an economy-wide transition to a low carbon future. Our academies will work to ensure our experts are at the forefront, providing advice to guide the most efficient, fair and cost-effective policy mechanisms that drive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and broader adaptation.

We welcome the Australian Government’s trust and investment in current and emerging technologies to reduce and manage emissions, but alone this is not enough. The cornerstone of sufficient and effective implementation, uptake, and impact of these technologies will be acquiring and applying strategic insights derived from the humanities and social sciences, to ensure social acceptance and just outcomes.

We know that climate change disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations within our nation, and sea level rise is a significant issue for our Indo-Pacific neighbours. While benefiting all members of society, urgent climate change mitigation and adaptation will reap the greatest benefits for these groups. Fairness and justice should be to the fore in sharing the impacts of moving away from fossil fuels.

Indigenous knowledge is an important asset. In partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, more effective and sustainable approaches to social, health and environmental issues could be implemented.”

Read the full statement on the ACOLA website.

The presidents of the five learned academies are:

Media contact
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact: Dan Wheelahan, Media Manager, Australian Academy of Science, [email protected], 0488 766 010

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