More than 20 prominent Australians have called for emergency-scale action on climate change in an open letter to the new parliament, published in “The Age” on 23 June.
Signatories run across the political spectrum, and include business leaders, scientists, a former Australian of the Year and a Nobel Laureate.
Climate emergency petition
Ian Dunlop, a former Chair of the Australian Coal Association and former CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors says:
We are out of time for gradualist policy. We need courage rather than procrastination from our aspiring leaders. Emergency action is a call increasingly being taken up by leading scientists and responsible leaders around the world as extreme events escalate.
The statement reads:
- At the Paris climate talks, scientists and people from low-lying island states set 1.5ºC of warming as a red line that must not be crossed. However, earlier this year, the global average temperature spiked past 1.6ºC of warming.
- The bleaching of coral reefs around the world, increasing extreme weather events, the melting of large ice sheets and recent venting of methane from thawing permafrost make it abundantly clear that the earth is already too hot.
- The future of human civilisation, and the survival of the precious ecosystems on which we depend, now hang in the balance.
- There must be an immediate ban on new coal and gas developments and an emergency-speed transition to zero emissions.
- We must begin the enormous task of safely drawing down the excess greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
- We call on the new parliament to declare a climate emergency.
Epidemiologist Professor Fiona Stanley says she is already measuring the health impacts of global warming: “Our children top the list of those most likely to suffer . . . .” Continue reading: Climate Code Red: Scientists, business leaders and prominent Australians call for emergency climate action