The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) says new Prime Minister Scott Morrison must back the Paris Climate Agreement and enact urgent action to cut pollution or risk endangering the Australian community to more extreme fires, heatwaves and droughts.

ACF Chief Executive Officer, Kelly O’Shanassy, said the Abbott and Turnbull governments had too readily abandoned strong climate change action and attacked clean energy at the behest of a handful of unrepresentative climate sceptics. She said a responsible government would uphold its international commitments and act to cut the harmful climate pollution from burning coal and razing forests that is turbocharging extreme weather.

“All Australians, and the international community, deserve to hear from the new Prime Minister a clear unequivocal commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement,” Ms O’Shanassy said.

“Scott Morrison was a member of the Cabinet that signed Australia up to the Paris Agreement.

"Australians will be aghast if our elected representatives join Donald Trump in trying to wreck global climate action. It would be another moment when our government allowed irrational climate change denial to trump science, reason and logic.

“The damage from climate change is hurting Australian communities right now. 1600 bushfires have raged across Queensland and NSW over the last week – in winter. The Great Barrier Reef has been hammered by mass bleaching. Drought is hitting our farmers across multiple states.

“The only way to ensure this damage is not exacerbated is with concerted global action to cut pollution through the Paris Climate Agreement – with Australia doing its fair share.

“That means swiftly moving away from digging-up and burning coal and razing forests by embracing renewable energy and a healthy natural world. The Paris Agreement sends a global signal to nations and industries to make these changes.

"Australia signed-up to Paris in good faith. As one of the highest polluters per person in the world, if we were to capitulate on our responsibilities there would be rightful international condemnation and more unnecessary climate damage at home.”

ACF Media Enquiries

Journalists with enquiries may contact Tom Arup on 0402 482 910 or Josh Meadows on 0439 342 992. For all other enquiries please call 1800 223 669 or email action@acf.org.au.