NSW must prepare now for impact of climate change on coastal communities

The State’s peak environment group has called on Australian governments at all levels to take heed of the latest climate science and urgently consider the impact of climate change on our coastal communities.

“A recent international meeting of more than 2500 scientists in Copenhagen has warned that worst case climate change predictions made by the IPCC are already being approached much faster than expected two years ago,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW said today.

“Already ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are melting at rates faster than expected, raising sea levels and increasing the risk of further climate change acceleration.

“Scientists are telling us that by 2100 the world could experience a rise in sea levels of up to one metre due to climate change. Every one centimetre of sea level rise can cause erosion of up to one metre in vulnerable locations.

“Most Australians live within 50km of our coastlines, therefore we need a robust statewide strategy to protect our precious coastal environments and infrastructure from rising sea levels and increased extreme weather events.

“The Nature Conservation Council is calling on the State Government to refuse development applications in areas vulnerable to flooding from rising sea levels in the next 100 years. We must avoid new developments in flood-prone coastal areas and implement adaptive strategies for protecting communities from coastal impacts,” Ms Faehrmann said.

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