A healthy and stable climate underpins all life on Earth, supporting nature and people alike. Our lives depend on the natural environment to deliver the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the clothes we wear and the products that create jobs and economic security.

Our climate is now rapidly changing and threatening the people, animals and places we love.

What we now know is activities such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, and cutting down forests is polluting our atmosphere and warming our planet, causing an increase in extreme weather events, sea level rise, and a warming and acidification of the oceans. Our precious wildlife and ecosystems can’t adapt fast enough. The good news is we have the solutions – like solar energy from the sun. Our ability to innovate is boundless and exciting. These solutions will not just help us limit global warming, but will create a more sustainable, cleaner and better future for all.

WWF-Australia works with businesses, governments and communities to accelerate the solutions and speed up Australia’s transition to zero carbon pollution – ensuring Australia does its fair share and supports those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

WWF-Australia is committed to:

  • Limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century
  • Achieving net-zero carbon pollution in Australia before 2050
  • Achieving 100% renewable energy in Australia before 2050, including 100% renewable electricity before 2035.

WWF and climate change

WWF-Australia works with entrepreneurs, investors and business to promote innovative solutions that will reduce carbon emissions. We’re helping companies set science-based emissions reduction targets and supporting large companies to buy renewable energy more cost effectively. This includes working with governments to eliminate barriers and provide incentives to industry and business to accelerate the shift to zero carbon pollution. We’re also working with government and industry to help restore, rehabilitate and reforest areas across Australia. Plus, part of our program is to introduce climate finance solutions to more countries in our region who are struggling from the threats of climate change.

Why it matters

The mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus) is listed as Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List. This Australian marsupial is endemic to southeastern Australia.


The species and places we love depend on intricate ecosystems to survive, and even small changes to the climate can disrupt the delicate balance of nature and threaten plants and animals.

Woman staringout to the sea in Shelly Beach, New South Wales.


As humans, every aspect of our life is reliant on the natural environment, whether it's the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the clothes we wear or the products that are made and sold to create jobs and drive the economy.

A Tuvaluan women wades through sea water to get to her home, Funafuti atol, Tuvalu


Sadly, it’s the poorest and most vulnerable people who have contributed least to the problem that will be hit hardest by global warming. Some of the countries most at risk include our Pacific and Southeast Asian neighbours Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Bumblebee feeding on garden plants in the United Kingdom


Changes to temperature and rainfall are damaging ecosystems at all levels, impacting everything from the pollination of flowers to the migratory and hibernation patterns of animals, all of which can seriously disrupt the food chain that sustains life.


Food and farming

Changes to rainfall patterns, increasingly severe droughts, more frequent heatwaves, flooding and extreme weather all make it more difficult for farmers to graze livestock and grow crops. This will limit the supplies of some produce and make it more expensive at the checkout.



Reduced rainfall and more severe drought may lead to water shortages.

Collapsed road from coastal erosion in Cumbria, UK

Coastal erosion

Rising sea levels and more frequent and intense storm surges will see more erosion of Australia's coastline, causing community and residential damage.

Mike McFarlane feeding his sheep on his farm in Western Australia, 2015


The increased frequency and severity of heatwaves may lead to death and illness, especially among the elderly. Higher temperatures and humidity could see increased mosquito-borne diseases in Australia.

Houses flooded by Hurricane Katrina with the city in the background, New Orleans, United States

Damage to homes

More extreme weather events like bushfires, storms, floods, cyclones and coastal erosion will see increased damage to Australian homes, as well as more costly insurance premiums.

Filming coral bleaching, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, March 2016

Coral bleaching

Higher ocean temperatures and greater acidity will cause extreme coral bleaching events, like the 2016 event that destroyed more than one-third of the Great Barrier Reef.

Forest canopy of the Daintree rainforest in northern Queensland
Forest canopy of the Daintree rainforest in northern Queensland © Global Warming Images

What have we got to lose?

All life on Earth depends on a healthy and stable climate. But global warming, caused by human activities like burning fossil fuels, farming and deforestation, is causing immediate and direct changes to the Earth's climate.

The impacts of global warming are already being felt throughout Australia, and these will continue to worsen if we do not act now to reduce carbon emissions and to limit global warming to less than 1.5°C.