Queensland has more to lose from climate change than any other Australian state, with the twin threats of severe drought and intense cyclones, a new report shows.

The state government has responded by launching a $3 million campaign to get householders to shrink their carbon footprints. Queensland Climate Change Minister Andrew McNamara today released the report from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Climate Change showing the state's average temperature could rise by five degrees celsius by 2070.

The report, entitled Climate Change in Queensland - What the science is telling us, said the annual temperature had risen faster than the national average since 1950. Under the current high emissions scenario, Queensland's temperature would rise by 2.8 degrees by 2050 and five degrees by 2070. The report identified the Great Barrier Reef and wet tropics rainforest as especially vulnerable. Most of the population, which lives on the coast, could face severe flooding from sea levels expected to rise by up two metres by the end of the century.

"Queensland has key challenges because of our widely distributed population,'' Mr McNamara told reporters today. "We have four million people living across a much broader area than Victoria, for example. "So our transport challenge is significantly more difficult because we simply have to transport people and goods over greater distances. "We have a highly distributed economy and it's an energy intensive economy. "We have a very strong mining sector, but of course, that entails the significant production of greenhouse gases.

"So Queensland, because of the structure of our economy and the distribution of our people, has more at risk because of climate change than any other state in Australia.''


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