It’s a short 800m walk from the Minerals Council office to Parliament House in Canberra. The well-worn path between the coal lobby and our elected representatives was lined with bushfire debris yesterday as bushfire survivors, Pacific Climate Warriors and activists highlighted the coal lobby’s 20 years of blocking government action on climate change. If you’re keen to join the people powered movement to take back our democracy – learn more at our online webinar on tomorrow night at 6:30pm.
#CutAllTies Launch Webinar
Start: Thursday, February 13, 2020 • 6:30 PM • Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (GMT+10:00)
End: Thursday, February 13, 2020 • 7:45 PM • Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney (GMT+10:00)
Email from 350.org on Wednesday, 12 February 2020:
Yesterday was extraordinary. Together with bushfire survivors, Pacific Climate Warriors and local activists we launched a groundbreaking campaign to take back our democracy from the hands of the coal lobby – #CutAllTies
Brave and resilient folks from the NSW South Coast brought the remains of their homes and properties all the way to Canberra to make a powerful statement – it’s time to put an end to the coal lobby’s trail of destruction.
80 people and 32 wheelbarrows lined the streets from Parliament House to the headquarters of the Minerals Council of Australia in front of media and politicians – here’s how it all went down:
We met early to unload trailers of bushfire debris into the 32 wheelbarrows. There were all sorts of household items in the wreckage – teapots, solar panels, downpipes, even the kitchen sink. Behind every piece of debris was a powerful story of the damage being done by the climate crisis, and anger that the Government is refusing to take action in the wake of such a devastating tragedy.
Jack Egan, who lost his home on New Years Eve, gave powerful testimony to a throng of media, recounting his fear as he and his partner were separated as their house burnt to the ground. According to Jack, “after the firestorm passed that was a powerful emotional experience…at least we’ve survived bodily and almost psychologically.”
Jack knows too well the impact of 20 years of inaction on climate change in Australia, and he called on our Government to fulfil its first duty – to protect its citizens from harm – and cut all ties with the coal lobby so we can get on with becoming the renewable energy superpower we should be.
Together we marched the wheelbarrows from Parliament House along the short 800m walk to the Minerals Council office.
Once at their office, The Pacific Climate Warriors created a seawall on the steps of the Minerals Council, and we heard an incredible spoken word poem from Sailoto about losing islands to sea level rise.
Together, Sailoto and I delivered an invoice to the Minerals Council for the damages from the bushfires, the sunken money in fossil fuel subsidies, and the 20 years of holding back action on climate change that has cost us our future.
Why did we do it?
Because our research into the history of the Minerals Council has found that for over 20 years they’ve undermined action on the climate crisis. They’ve used advertising and lobbying campaigns, and an entrenched political revolving door, to undermine climate policies at every turn. You can read the whole dirt file here.
We know that we have all the solutions and public support we need to take action on the climate crisis, and support a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. But the truth is, Australia will never be part of the solution to climate change while the Minerals Council and the fossil fuel lobby still have a stranglehold over our politics.
That’s why we’ve launched the Cut All Ties campaign, to restore our democracy to the people – not the polluters. We have a plan to take back our democracy so it answers to the community, not the coal lobby – and it’s going to take a huge grassroots effort to pull it off.
To find out how you can be part of this campaign, come along to this special launch webinar on Feb 13 to introduce the powerful campaign that will take down the power of the fossil fuel lobby.
I am feeling so inspired and fired up to take on this campaign, which looks beneath the surface at the hidden power that must shift in order to shift Australia’s climate politics. There is no greater antidote to despair than action, and this campaign is going to be action packed and win. Find out how to be a part of it.
Lucy, for the whole 350 Australia team