Call it what it is: climate emergency motion to be pushed in Parliament

SYDNEY, 11 Sept 2019. Former Liberal Party leader John Hewson will join members of the Federal crossbench and call on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency, in a motion to be released today.

If successful, Australia will join over 990 jurisdictions in 18 countries representing 212 million citizens who have formally acknowledged the climate emergency, including the UK and Canada, as well as the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, London, Paris, and New York.

“Australia is currently experiencing extreme drought conditions, bushfires, and crippling water shortages, all of which are being driven by the climate crisis. Australia’s politicians only need to glance at the headlines to see how much climate damage our country is already enduring,” said David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“We are living in the reality of the climate emergency, and this motion being put forth in Parliament is a critical first step to formally acknowledge the scale of the crisis we face as a nation.”

In Australia, 45 jurisdictions representing roughly 5 million people and 20 per cent of the population have declared a climate emergency, including the government of the Australian Capital Territory.

The motion comes off the back of the Australian Medical Association recognising climate change as a health emergency, stating that climate change affects health and wellbeing by increasing the situations in which infectious diseases can be transmitted, as well as through more extreme weather events such as heatwaves.

“This announcement is just nine days out from the September 20 climate strikes, which are slated to show massive nonpartisan support from all sectors of society, mobilising to demand action on climate change,” added Ritter.

For more information or interviews please contact Greenpeace Australia Pacific Communications Manager Nelli Stevenson on 0428 113 346 or email [email protected]