5 Jun 2011

Report looks at risk of climate change to Australia's coasts

8:15 pm on 5 June 2011

A report on the risk of climate change to Australia's coasts predicts sea-level rises could claim hundreds of thousands of homes and commercial buildings by the end of this century.

The report, titled Risk to Coastal Settlements and Communities, was commissioned by the Federal Government and assesses the potential damage caused by a worst case scenario sea level rise of 1.1 metres within 90 years.

The ABC reports it identifies $226 billion worth of assets at risk of erosion or being wiped out.

The report found up to 274,000 homes are at risk of inundation and erosion along with over 8000 commercial buildings, and up to 35,000 kilometres of roads and rail around the country.

It warns any future developments in coastal areas must take account of potential sea level rises.

It also predicts climate change will increase the frequency and severity of natural disasters.

Rallies in support of putting a price on carbon pollution

Thousands of people have gathered at locations around Australia to rally in support of the Federal Government's plan to put a price on carbon pollution.

An estimated 10,000 people turned out in Melbourne while police said up to 8000 rallied in Sydney in support of the "Say Yes" campaign.

Simultaneous rallies were being held in other cities as the second stage of the campaign, which was launched last week by actors Cate Blanchett and Michael Caton.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Don Henry said the big polluters and their supporters were running a scare campaign on the carbon tax, but the people-power campaign was gaining momentum.

"We've got to ramp up people power because in the next three months our Parliament is going to decide whether we take action or not," he told the Melbourne rally.

Mr Henry said the majority of Australians wanted action on climate change, as shown by the attendance at the rallies.

"We think momentum is building, people power is building, because Australians want action on climate change," he told reporters.