June 23, 2016

Rally for Reef: Cairns calls for climate action

350 Cairns have called a Rally for the Reef on Friday 24 June, to demand climate action to save the Great Barrier Reef from dangerous global warming.

Rally for the Reef is part of a nation-wide week of action by 350 Australia targeting the ‘dirty thirty’.

The ‘dirty thirty’ refers to the thirty worst climate deniers in Australia’s federal government, and includes several Queenslanders.

High profile LNP candidates Senator George Brandis, Attorney General, the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, and controversial member for Dawson George Christensen are on the list.

Everyday Australians from all around the country are putting their bodies on the line to shine a spotlight on these climate blocking politicians and calling for an end to their cosy relationship with the big polluters.

“The continued digging up and burning of fossil fuels by the big polluters is devastating our climate. Right now, the Great Barrier Reef is 93% bleached, bushfires are ravaging the globe, farmers’ livelihoods are being destroyed by droughts, and every month breaks a new temperature record”, said 350 Cairnsorganiser, Zelda Grimshaw

“Despite this, some politicians continue to block climate action because of their cosy relationship with the big polluters. If they won’t end this dirty relationship and create a plan to keep fossil fuels in the ground, then we will do everything we can to end their time in our parliament” said Ms Grimshaw

In Brisbane, the campaign will focus on climate blocker Peter Dutton, installing a bleached coral reef in his electoral office.

In Cairns, indigenous elders, faith groups, staff and students of JCU, union groups, tourism workers and others concerned about dangerous global warming will gather to ‘draw the line’.

The assembly will create a red line across Cairns Esplanade to symbolize “Climate emergency – do not cross”.

350 parts per million is considered a safe level of carbon in the atmosphere. The latest readings put the amount at over 400 parts per million, or ppm.

Climate scientists are warning that our window of opportunity to mitigate dangerous global warming is rapidly closing.

“We are already in a climate emergency” said Crystal Irwin, organiser of Rally for the Reef. “We need our leaders to take bold action, not to cosy up to fossil fuel companies.”

“We are calling for a rapid transition to renewable energy, to save our reef, and for a safe climate.” Ms Irwin said.

“If we stand any chance of protecting the Great Barrier Reef, avoiding devastating droughts and heatwaves, and building a safer future, then we must keep fossil fuels where they belong – in the ground. Real jobs and growth are in renewables, not in fossil fuels. Coral, not coal, is our future.

“We are drawing the line on fossil fuels. “Business as usual” is cooking our planet. The dirty thirty have to go. This election, we will flush the climate blockers down.”

WHAT: Civil disobedience action and rally

WHEN: Friday 24 June, 4.30 – 6pm. ACTION AT 5pm

WHERE: Cairns Esplanade Plaza, corner Shields St and Esplanade

WHO: 350 Cairns, faith groups, indigenous custodians, union groups, staff and students of JCU, tourism industry staff, concerned citizens

LAUNCH OF CAIRNS CLIMATE ANGELS Fabulous visuals and soundbites

IMAGES from the rally will be uploaded here as soon as possible after the event.

CAIRNS CONTACTS:  350cairns@gmail.com

NATIONAL CONTACT:  Charlie Wood, Campaigns Director, 350 Australia 0427 485 233