SYDNEY, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 8: As the new PM announces he will reject the NEG and move to dump Paris emissions targets when Parliament resumes on Monday, thousands of people from around Australia are rallying this weekend, including in his Cronulla electorate, against the Coalition’s reckless refusal to act on climate change. They are demanding that the new Morrison government reject the influence of the coal lobby and move the nation beyond coal to a renewable energy future. The event coincides with the more than 850 events in 95 countries around today.
More than 1000 people are expected to gather at Cronulla Park calling for climate leadership. The event is organised by an alliance of Australia’s biggest environment and social justice groups, including Get Up!, Greenpeace, Solar Citizens, Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org, the Climate Action Network, Stop Adani, Tipping Point, The Nature Conservation Council and more. Around the country, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, in regional centres and all state capitals, Australians are hitting the streets to kick coal out of politics in similar events.
Aref Taleb, a young person concerned about climate change from the Cronulla area, said:
“We need to change our ways, and young people in Australia aren’t going to sit around and wait for our leaders. We are taking matters into our own hands, by reaching out to our local communities and galvanising the Australian spirit of compassion to build a movement so strong, no amount of ignorance or fossil fuel money can stop us.”
Miriam Lyons, of GetUp! said: “We’ve just witnessed the hard-right faction of the Coalition completely detach their party from consensus reality in order to rule out any possibility that big polluters might have to pay for the damage they’re doing to our climate.
“While firefighters were risking their lives fighting over 1,000 fires in winter, the coal faction was bullying backbenchers into voting for a PM who’s even more beholden to their climate-wrecking agenda. And Scott Morrison has already started doing their bidding, appointing an anti-wind-farm campaigner as Energy Minister and a former coal lobbyist as his Chief of Staff.
“The community wants real leadership on climate and a sun-powered future, not a Prime Minister in the pocket of Big Coal. If Scott Morrison keeps putting giant coal corporations ahead of everyday people he shouldn’t expect to keep his new job beyond the next election.
Joseph-Zane Sikulu, of 350.org Pacific and a Pacific Climate Warrior, said: “Around the world this weekend, thousands of people are uniting under the banner #RiseForClimate to show our governments that real climate leadership rises from the ground up. As a Pacific Climate Warrior, I am fighting for my home and people. Australia must be held to account for its commitments to the Paris Agreement and its commitment to the expansion of the destructive industry that contributes so much to climate change.”
Kate Smolski, CEO of the NSW Nature Conservation Council, said: “NSW is in the grip of drought and our fire seasons are starting earlier and earlier. Our addiction to fossil fuels is having an impact on nature, communities and human health. It’s time to kick coal out of politics for good and repower Australia with clean energy. If our politicians will not lead on strong climate action, they need to get out of the way.”
Details of other national events at www.riseforclimate.org
For media assistance: Lou Fraser 0438 993 068