Labor’s disaster prevention pledge a distraction from real action on fossil fuels
SYDNEY, Jan 12 2022 - Labor’s pledge to spend $200 million a year on disaster prevention is a step in the right direction, but Greenpeace Australia Pacific says we must focus on the rapid reduction of fossil fuels, which are the root cause of climate disasters. 
This morning Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced that a Labor government would revamp the $4.7 billion Emergency Response Fund and spend $200 million a year on disaster prevention and resilience while attacking the Morrison Government for failing to protect Australians from extreme weather.
“Increased funding to make communities more resilient and to prevent extreme weather events like the bushfires and tropical cyclones currently wreaking havoc at opposite ends of the country is always welcome but the elephant in the room is the fossil fuels that are driving the climate crisis in the first place,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate Impacts Campaigner, Martin Zavan said.
“The root cause of these ever more frequent and destructive extreme weather events is climate change caused by the mining and burning of coal, oil and gas. We can’t ignore the reality that the best way to help protect Australians from the deadly impacts of climate change is to rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels.
“Anthony Albanese says the Morrison Government is failing on preventative measures such as building sea walls, evacuation centres and fire breaks. The real preventative measure we need is to address the root cause of disasters by rapidly transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy like wind, solar and batteries.”
Mr Zavan added that it was unfair for communities impacted by extreme weather to pick up the bill for disaster recovery and prevention.
“The fossil fuel companies that have contributed most to the climate crisis should bear the costs rather than Australian taxpayers and communities that have been devastated by bushfires, heatwaves and cyclones. Australia needs a climate compensation fund paid for by the biggest emitters in the country.”
Greenpeace Australia Pacific Climate Impacts Campaigner, Martin Zavan
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