OUR SAFE CLIMATE DEMANDS


A safe climate and healthy environment are the foundations on which all else we know and value depends.

In circumstances where:

  1. The paramount duty of government is to protect its citizens from grave threats
  1. Rapidly accelerating anthropogenic climate change places the very future of human civilisation and the ecosystems upon which it depends at dire risk
  2. Urgent action is required to avoid further damage and to restore a safe climate
  1. The necessary action will require society-wide mobilisation of resources at a scale and speed never before seen in peacetime
  1. Failure is not an option

We call on the Australian government to declare a state of climate emergency and to create a body in the nature of a war cabinet comprising cross party representation and eminent climate experts to address the threat.

The steps required to address the climate emergency include:

  1. The rapid phase out of all fossil fuel extraction and combustion and petrochemical usage
  1. Reduction of Australia’s carbon emissions to zero as soon as possible coupled with measures to draw down the excess carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere
  1. An urgent transition to 100% renewable energy for all buildings, manufacturing and transport
  1. An end to the profligate waste of resources via mandatory standards which ensure energy efficiency and sustainable agriculture, manufacturing, recycling, transport and waste management
  1. An immediate end to all land clearing and commencement of large-scale re-afforestation and re-vegetation to restore natural ecosystems and sequester more than a century of legacy carbon trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere
  1. Acknowledgement that:
  • the imposition of absolute caps on fossil fuel extraction and combustion to ensure that fossil fuels remain in the ground save where extraction is absolutely necessary
  • disadvantaged developing nations have done little to contribute to climate change and bear less responsibility than advanced economies
  • people displaced by climate change are properly recognised as climate refugees and are entitled to the protections that refugee status affords
  • as a nation that has caused climate change, Australia should provide disadvantaged developing nations with fair assistance to implement the changes required and to cope with the impacts of climate change
  1. Laws that facilitate demands 1 to 5 above including:
  • the imposition of absolute caps on fossil fuel extraction and combustion to ensure that fossil fuels remain in the ground save where extraction is absolutely necessary
  • a requirement that polluters must pay for the true costs of the pollution that they emit
  • an end to all subsidies that support fossil fuel extraction and use and pollution intensive agriculture, manufacturing and transport
  • monitoring and legally binding enforcement mechanisms
  • carefully tailored just transition programs to support and retrain all workers who are impacted by the necessary changes
  • the rapid creation of a substantial sustainability fund via an equitable levy to assist disadvantaged developing nations to make the necessary changes and to cope with climate related disasters
  • a requirement that all Australian commercial lenders make at least 20% of their loans in the form of micro financing for environmentally and socially sustainable projects proposed by and for local communities, and
  • the immediate amendment of all free trade agreement ISDS clauses to ensure that they do not compromise the above steps.

The most cited argument for slow and inadequate responses to climate change and peak oil, are driven by a combination of ignorance of the current science, greed by those with vested economic interests, fear of change and the failure to recognise the bountiful economic opportunities that are ready to be taken up. Climate deniers all fall in to one or more of the categories above. Yet, with the adoption of the global Paris Agreement and hence renewable energy as a much greater proportion of our energy mix—in addition to playing our role in mitigating catastrophic global warming—there will be the added benefit of a boost to our local economies and new, more secure and sustainable ‘green collar’ jobs.