CANBERRA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Academy of Science has joined an international coalition of expert bodies calling for the Commonwealth of Nations to guide action on climate change.
The 22 national academies from around the Commonwealth issued a Consensus Statement on Climate Change ahead of April's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in the United Kingdom (UK).
It marks the first time that Commonwealth nations have come together to call on governments to take further action to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The signatories to the statement represent tens of thousands of scientists from around the world.
As a signatory to the 2015 Paris Agreement, Australia has committed to keeping the average global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels but David Day, Secretary of Science Policy at the Australian Academy of Science, said achieving that feat was only the first step.
"Even if all the country commitments from the Paris Agreement are met, the best interpretation of the latest data shows that by the end of the century the global climate is likely to be three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels," Day said in a media release on Monday.
"This is substantially higher than the Paris target to limit warming to less than two degrees, and would have profound impacts affecting billions of people throughout the world."
The CHOGM has committed to focusing on sustainability and how developing countries can combat climate change.
"Recognising different capacities, challenges and priorities, the approaches of each nation will not be the same. But, they must be informed by the best available scientific evidence, monitoring and evaluation," Day said.