A giant sign reading Climate justice is seen among thousands demanding climate justice and environment protection in Paris on December 12, 2015. A climate march was organized by several NGOs as COP21 negotiations come to an end.
A giant sign reading Climate justice is seen among thousands demanding climate justice and environment protection in Paris on December 12, 2015. A climate march was organized by several NGOs as COP21 negotiations come to an end. AAP Image - NEWZULU - DENIS PREZAT

Groups call on government to follow landmark Paris agreement

ENVIRONMENT groups are urging the Australian government to start acting on the landmark Paris climate change accord.

Nearly 200 countries have agreed to the Paris UN climate conference pact that will shake up the world's fossil fuel-driven economy in coming decades.

The agreement means countries including Australia must upgrade their carbon emission reduction targets every five years from 2020 to ensure global warming increases are limited to 1.5 degrees.

Without the deal, global greenhouse emissions were on course to increase 10% by 2030.

Click for a quick explanation of the agreement

Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke said Australia must now transform from a "rampant polluter to a modern, clean-energy economy".

"To keep the global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees, Australia must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels, provide far more in international climate finance and reach zero emissions and 100% renewable energy as soon as possible," she said.

World Wildlife Fund Australia CEO Dermot O'Gorman said the agreement marked the end of the "fossil fuel age".

"Now that we have a new global agreement, the Australian Government can step up and put in place a long-term plan to achieve a 1.5 degree goal," he said.

"This plan should include policies to clean up and modernise our energy sector, and ramp-up funding to help vulnerable nations and communities adapt to climate change."

Australian Climate Council expert Tim Flannery said the world was entering an "era of renewable energy".

"Finally, we can feel hopeful that we are on a path to tackling climate change," Professor Flannery said.

- APN NEWSDESK


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