As world leaders gather in Madrid this week for the COP25 UN Climate Change conference, we find ourselves at a critical moment in the climate emergency, writes Joseph Moeono-Kolio, Head of Greenpeace Pacific.
Air pollution has reached hazardous levels across all areas of Sydney, Wollongong, the Central Coast, Newcastle and Singleton today. Dangerous fine particle pollution is off the charts. Sydney is currently among the most polluted cities in the world, ahead of Dhaka, Karachi, Yangon, Hanoi and Shanghai.
Following a wave of climate action, a Federal climate emergency motion was tabled and voted on by the Greens on Tuesday 15th October. It was narrowly defeated, blocked by the coal-loving Coalition.
That it is even being debated at the national level shows how far we’ve come. The defeat is not the end. Just three Liberal MPs need to cross the floor to get the climate emergency legislation voted through. We will keep pushing.
In 2015 I experienced extreme weather first-hand while living in Gillieston Heights, Maitland. With a two-month-old, and two other children, our suburb was turned into a virtual island following days of torrential rain.
This is honestly the last thing I ever imagined myself doing. I’ve always taken politics seriously, I’ve always carefully considered my vote, but I have never been politically active. But things have never been this desperate. And there’s only one antidote to despair. Action.
At the end of last year something happened that stopped me in my tracks. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was released, and its message was stark: we had less than twelve years to drastically reduce our greenhouse emissions or face irreversible, catastrophic consequences.