Open letter calling for bipartisan action on climate change

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On Saturday 30 May BREAZE published an Open Letter calling for bipartisan policy on climate change in The Courier - in the hard copy and facsimile edition on page 9.  

The letter was signed by a number  by a number of public figures in Ballarat. 

 The Courier also published an article by Rochelle Kirkham, on the thinking behind the letter — 'Ballarat leaders call for action on climate change.'

The text of the Open Letter, which was addressed and sent to members of the House of Representatives and the Senate in Canberra, is published below.

To the Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Scott Morrison, the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Anthony Albanese and Honorable members of the House and Senate:

The bushfire season of 2019/20 has given Australians a taste of what climate change has in store for us — a devastated landscape and massive asset and species loss as well as lives and livelihoods. This is the new bushfire reality: forest fires so extreme that they are uncontrollable, producing their own weather system; pyrocumulonimbus clouds and dry lightning that ignites further fires; what climate scientists have been warning for three decades. 

In Ballarat our City Council endorsed the Declaration of Climate Emergency in 2018 and in 2019 unanimously endorsed a Carbon Neutrality Action Plan for zero emissions by 2025. 

It is now time for our nation’s leaders to similarly acknowledge anthropogenic climate change as an existential threat that requires immediate bipartisan action. 

We the undersigned call on the Morrison Coalition government to endorse the Declaration of Climate Emergency and to take action to cut greenhouse gases immediately, to meet our Paris COP21 commitments, and to set a pathway of future interim targets leading to zero emissions by 2050. 

We accept the evidence of climate science that current greenhouse emissions are leading us on a trajectory towards global warming of 3-5° by the end of the century. This scenario would bequeath a hostile environment for our children and grandchildren and a dire future for humanity. 

Australia is the world’s 14th highest emitter of greenhouse gases and third biggest exporter of coal. We also have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in the OECD. 

We cannot expect other countries to reduce emissions if we are not doing so ourselves. Climate change is with us now, and as a responsible member of the international community we must act immediately — before it is too late.