Faith-based organisations working on climate change have joined forces to challenge Australia’s weak climate policies. Dozens of ARRCC supporters have energetically got behind this. They have worked with other people of faith in their own electorates and collectively gathered 26,000 signatures, on paper, across 94 electorates. Around 20 MP's have committed to speak in Parliament on the issues raised in the Petition. A media event was held in Canberra on September 6th, with participants from the Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist and various Christian traditions.
The petition calls on the Australian Government to get to net zero emissions well before 2050, transition away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, and support our most vulnerable global neighbours as they face increasing climate impacts.
The organisations that have banded together include TEAR, Caritas and Uniting Church agencies as well as ARRCC. With local MP’s seeing that people of faith are so concerned about climate issues, the message is that mainstream constituencies expect them to be advocates for strong climate policy.
Quite a few groups have managed to get stories into their local papers. Get a taste of what’s being coming out:
In Kiama, the group were called “climate warriors”! Waging peace, of course! There is power in the fact that the message is coming from people who are normally regarded as “conservative”. Congratulations to the dozens of ARRCC supporters who are delivering a strong message to constituents in their local areas as well as their elected representatives.
L to R: Lee Milroy, Maxine Ross, Fr Ron Perrett, Hon. Barnaby Joyce, MP
Wording of the petition:
To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives
This petition of concerned people/citizens of [electorate name], draws to the attention of the House the severe and urgent threat that climate change poses to the health, well-being and security of all people around the world, particularly our poorest and most vulnerable neighbours.
We remind the House that Australia’s greenhouse emissions are the highest per person among wealthy nations while our emissions reduction targets are among the weakest.
We therefore ask the House to do all in its power to protect communities in Australia and our region from the harmful impacts of climate change – such as more severe heat, extreme and unpredictable weather and rising seas – by:
- committing to deeper and more urgent reductions of our greenhouse emissions;
- developing a plan to ensure Australia achieves zero net greenhouse emissions well before 2050, and supporting families and communities affected by the transition towards renewable energy and more sustainable land use;
- providing additional assistance to help our poorest neighbours adapt to the harmful impacts of climate change.
Hon Anthony Byrne MP has committed to speaking in Parliament, after prompting from Andrea Mayes
Doug Hewitt, John Hayes, Sabina Islam meets Hon Sharon Claydon, MP for Newcastle