In recent weeks, Australian politicians have again demonstrated they lack the political will to act on climate change. The Federal Government is retreating from the Clean Energy Target (a necessary, albeit insufficient, first step), while former Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave a speech in London in which he not only questioned the science of climate change, but argued increases in global temperatures would save lives.
It is clear that Australia’s politicians do not understand the urgent need to act. Nor do they appreciate the challenges faced by our neighbours in low-lying Pacific atoll countries who are already struggling for climate justice.
Add your name to our letter below, to remind our leaders of what's at stake if we don't act now.
Dear Members of Parliament and Senators,
Pacific Island leaders have warned that unless global temperature increases are limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, their countries will be devastated by climate change, including rising sea levels, more severe storms and cyclones, drought, coastal erosion, and an increase in water borne diseases.
The very future of countries like Kiribati and Tuvalu is under threat. These are resilient people who refuse to sit and wait for the world to save them from the impacts of climate change. But they also need countries like Australia to listen and act.
We urge you to remember the people of Kiribati or Tuvalu as you develop your policies on climate change and energy. If you doubt the science or the need to act now, we invite you to join us to see first-hand the impact of climate change in these countries.
When one sees springs of salt water coming up from underground at high tide in Tuvalu (something local people have not seen until recent years), or see children swimming in an area that used to be a soccer field, it is impossible to deny the reality of what is happening.
The very future of countries like Kiribati and Tuvalu are under serious threat unless the world acts now. If we do not act, the culture that has sustained these peoples for centuries will be lost to the world.
The Edmund Rice Centre