From: Fatima Arkin, SciDevNet., SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published March 18, 2016 11:08 AM

Australia slashes funding on climate science

Scientists around the world have slammed Australia’s decision to slash its climate research programme — raising concerns about knock-on effects on developing countries.

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is shifting its research focus to efforts to adapt to and mitigate the effects of global warming rather than understanding climate change through fundamental research, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall announced last month.

“The loss of much of this capability with the impending cuts is a real blow for climate research throughout the region.”

In an email to CSIRO staff quoted by international news outlets, Marshall says that models have proved climate change, and we should now focus on solutions.  

“That argument would be like removing the foundations of the house because you need to build a roof,” says Lisa Alexander, an associate professor in the climate change research centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, and one of almost 3,000 people who signed an open letter to the Australian government protesting the cuts on 11 February.

“CSIRO’s decision to slash climate research will severely curtail Australia's capacity to deliver on [key] promises of the Paris Agreement,” the letter says. This includes governments’ commitment to “assist developing countries by providing advice for adaptation […], a role that CSIRO and Australia have already begun in their investments in the Pacific Climate Change Science Program”.

Scientisits in the Antarctic image via Shutterstock.

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