The following statement was released by various organisations calling for a national day of action to demand climate action on February 22, 2020.
National Day of Action on Climate Change
2019 was the year the climate crisis became impossible to ignore for millions. School strikers mobilised in their hundreds of thousands in Australia and inspired workers and other adults to rise up against the Morrison government’s climate vandalism.
Now, savage fires are devastating peoples’ lives, water shortages are pushing many towns to crisis point, millions have endured weeks or months of hazardous air quality, and over a billion native animals have been killed. Yet, Morrison still refuses to accept the reality of climate change, wrecked the global climate negotiations in December 2019, and doesn’t want to pay the people fighting the fires or expand resources for firefighting. Funding for recovery is important but is not enough – we need to address the cause of this climate crisis and start making drastic reductions to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia and globally.
We call for a National Day of Action demanding government action and investment on a scale to match the current climate crisis, including:
1. 100% renewable energy – reduce emissions now. Build a 100% publicly owned renewable energy system by 2030. Just transition for communities and guaranteed jobs for affected fossil fuel workers. Fund good low-emissions jobs in transport, manufacturing, disaster relief, health, education, energy, and climate adaptation.
2. No new fossil fuel or nuclear projects. End subsidies to these industries.
3. Fund our firies – support communities. Increase funding and resources to cope with longer and more intense fire seasons. Pay rural firefighters and reverse cuts to parks and fire services. Guaranteed homes and jobs for fire-affected communities.
4. First nations justice. Funding for Indigenous-led land management with jobs on country to repair ecosystems, reduce emissions and reduce fire risk. Land and water rights for Indigenous peoples.
Morrison is already on the back foot and the movement is getting stronger. Those already active are determined to continue the fight and new layers of activists are being galvanised into action.
This moment of heightened awareness must be seized, to continue building the movement through mass protests. We can’t allow the anger and awareness about the bushfires to fizzle out at the end of summer, have people start accepting unprecedented bushfires as the new normal, or turn to cynicism and despair.
The goals of such action would be to:
1. Channel anger about the climate crisis into mass action
2. Continue to build pressure on our Federal Government to accept our demands
3. Provide a space for those impacted by the climate crisis to be heard
4. Welcome new people into our movement
5. Encourage new alliances amongst groups seeking climate justice24