Even scientists are shocked by the latest United Nations report on climate change

UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning

UN report on global warming carries life-or-death warning

And in 2017, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement, in which almost 200 countries committed to cutting emissions to keep global temperature rise below 2°C, with the larger goal of trying to keep warming to 1.5° above pre-Industrial levels.

A loaded coal train pass through the outskirts of Singleton, in the NSW Hunter Valley.

President Donald Trump cast doubt on a United Nations report that warned that we have just 12 years to curb climate change by suggesting the reports' authors weren't more credible than reports that say the environment is "fabulous". The Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, ideally 1.5°C, by the turn of the century will be extremely challenging.

In September, government analysis showed that Australia's greenhouse-gas emissions increased previous year, and independent analysts said the country would likely not meet the greenhouse-gas emissions reductions that it committed to under the Paris Agreement.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will consider options if they make financial sense, after a major climate report released on Monday urged drastic changes across the globe to prevent temperatures rising by 2degC.

"There are positive signs that these good conditions will continue in coming decades", he said, citing a recent industry forecast that annual Asian demand for coal burnt in power plants would jump by half from about 740 million tonnes to 1.147 billion tonnes by 2030.

The country's previous prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, abandoned emissions reductions targets that the nation had agreed to, and Australia's renewable energy targets are set to expire in 2020. Additionally, the Governor signed bills to block new federal offshore oil drilling along California's coast, announced the state's opposition to the federal government's plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California and committed to developing and eventually launching a satellite that will track climate change-causing pollutants with unprecedented precision and help the world dramatically reduce these destructive emissions.

Australian Conservation Foundation chief executive Kelly O'Shanassy called on the government to change tactics.

"Hanging on to coal is reckless and very unsafe because it will fuel global warming".

The letter said the report highlighted that there is science, technology and money available to make a difference but political will is lacking.

"They are saying that 40 per cent of their electricity generation capacity by 2027 will be renewable energy, up from maybe 10 per cent three years ago, so it's just a huge transformation". These include the new European Union 2030 renewable energy target of 32%, the new energy efficiency target of 32.5%, the reform of the European Union emission trading system, the emission reduction targets in sectors falling outside the scope of ETS and the integration of land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU's climate and energy framework, the Council said.

"Natural gas flaring and leaks are wasteful, pollute the air we breathe, and undermine our best efforts to grapple with climate change", he said, calling for "significant" investments in clean, efficient energy production. "Actions need to be taken now if suffering, disruption, and conflict are to be avoided".

He said he believes "it's entirely possible, [but] it's entirely improbable" that Australia will manage to wean itself off coal by 2050, if the current policy settings remain.

Australia has more than 21 coal-fired power stations in operation, and still relies heavily on coal for electricity.

Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent.

There are also new coal plants being built or planned in numerous other Asian countries, including Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines.