In an unprecedented move, the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education (ERC) will shut its doors on Friday 20 September 2019 and encourage its staff and volunteers to attend the Global Climate Strikes taking place in The Domain, Sydney.
ERC Director Phil Glendenning said: “Climate change is the most dangerous crisis facing humanity in the 21st century and the poorest and most vulnerable among us will suffer the most from its impacts.
“The ERC recognises that urgent and decisive climate action by our Federal and State Governments is essential to help avert catastrophe, hence its formal support of the Global Climate Strikes on 20 September.”
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that, in order to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius, global carbon dioxide emissions would need to peak by 2020, be cut by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. However, the world’s current plans to cut emissions, including Australia’s, are not sufficiently ambitious to achieve this. On current trends, the world is headed towards at least 3 degrees Celsius of heating by 2100, which would have dire consequences for humanity and the ecosystems we depend on for survival.
“The Australian Government’s current Paris greenhouse gas emission reduction target is 26-28% by 2030 - a commitment amongst the weakest of any advanced economy. Further, the Australian Government has made it clear that it has no plans for increasing this target and plans to use ‘carry-over’ credits from the Kyoto Agreement to achieve it - a move ruled out by most other countries. This is a complete failure in our Government’s duty of care towards its own people, said Mr Glendenning.
“Justice and human rights are intricately linked to environmental justice and the climate crisis we are facing. For example, research by Cornell University shows that, on current projections, climate change and rising sea levels could displace 2 billion people across the globe, including in our own region - the Pacific. How will the world, including Australia, cope with this situation?, continued Mr Glendenning.
“On 20 September, the ERC will join the millions of people across the globe demanding that our governments stop acting like climate change is business as usual, said Mr Glendenning.
“This is an emergency. We need to treat it as such.”, concluded Mr Glendenning.
For further information, contact:
Phil Glendenning, Director ERC on 0419 013 758.
Corinne Fisher, Coordinator Pacific Calling Partnership, ERC on 0421 831 889.