Bushfire Royal Commission must examine the role of climate change
SYDNEY, Jan 8 2019 - Greenpeace Australia Pacific endorses our brave firefighters’ call for a Royal Commission into this summer’s deadly bushfires but warns that any credible examination of the tragedy must analyse the role of climate change.
Earlier today the Fire Brigade Employees Union (NSW), the United Firefighters Unions of Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, the Public Service Association of NSW and the NSW Volunteer Firefighters Association called for a Royal Commission to investigate resourcing, coordination, interstate communication, interoperability, training and fatigue as critical issues.
Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Head of Campaigns, Jamie Hanson, said the government should heed the calls of those on the frontline of the bushfire crisis.
“Last year Scott Morrison ignored the warnings of 23 current and former fire service chiefs, with deadly consequences for more than 20 Australians and countless millions of animals, but he now has an opportunity to shift course,” he said.
“The climate has changed. That means the country requires far greater ambition on climate change. We must change approach to the way we manage and fight fires, and we must act to reduce climate pollution. This unprecedented and catastrophic fire season still has months to go and the next one will not be far behind. We need to start planning now so the chaotic scenes witnessed this summer do not become an annual occurrence.
“But this inquiry needs to go beyond the symptoms of the bushfire crisis and look at the largest underlying cause of the conditions that have exacerbated these fires, which is burning coal.”
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Campaigner, Martin Zavan
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