Civil society organisation urge Morrison to life climate ambition

14 April 2021

The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister of Australia

Parliament House

Canberra ACT 2600

 

Dear Prime Minister

As leading Australian non-profit and environmental organisations, we write to ask that you stand with our Pacific family at the upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by President Joe Biden on Earth Day, 22nd April.

It is time for Australia to stand with the Pacific.

Climate change, fuelled by the burning of coal, oil and gas, exacerbates poverty and inequality and is the single greatest threat to communities throughout Australia and the Pacific. Monster storms and rising seas are swallowing land and homes. As oceans warm, reefs are dying, and fish are migrating away. Shifting rains are leaving communities without enough water to drink.

It’s time for Australia to step up and do our fair share by ensuring our emissions plummet this decade to well below half of their current levels. Australia must help prevent climate impacts that are already threatening lives and livelihoods in the Pacific and Australia and secure a prosperous future for our region based on clean energy. 

On 22nd April, as you join the world’s major economies at a special climate summit hosted by US President Biden, we underscore that, as a major coal and gas producer, Australia has one of the greatest responsibilities and a unique opportunity to support our Pacific family.

As a major regional player and long-standing friend of the Pacific, Australia has a responsibility to amplify Pacific voices that will not be heard at the summit. As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia must ensure that the Forum’s persistent calls for the world’s biggest emitters to take stronger action on climate change are heard.

All of the world’s biggest economies are reducing their emissions with ambitious short-term targets and strategies. Australia needs to step up and do its fair share by halving our emissions by 2030.

The world is moving. All our major trading partners, strategic allies and thousands of businesses have recently strengthened their commitments to climate action. Despite being the sunniest and windiest inhabited continent on earth, with unrivalled potential for renewable energy, Australia now stands alone among our peers in failing to commit to much stronger emissions reductions over the coming decade. This leaves us at risk of facing trade barriers such as border carbon tariffs on our exports. 

For the future of Pacific peoples and Australians alike, Australia must at least match the ambition of the US, UK, EU, Canada and many other countries. Prime Minister, we call on you to:

  • Substantially strengthen Australia’s emissions reduction target and contribution to the Paris Agreement. 
  • Ensure our emissions plummet this decade to well below half of their current levels.
  • Provide new funding to support climate action in the most vulnerable countries, including by recommitting to the Green Climate Fund.

We await your reply.

 

Yours sincerely,

Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Oxfam Australia, The Pacific Islands Climate Action Network, Australian Conservation Foundation, The Australia Institute, The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education, The Climate Council, Climate Action Network Australia.