In an open letter signed by 43 climate organisations representing more than two million Australians, the climate movement has come out in support of writing ‘Yes’ for the Referendum, as a long-standing commitment to climate and first nations justice.
Larissa Baldwin-Roberts, CEO GetUp and Widjabul Wia-bal woman said:
“First Nations people are on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction and climate change but the solutions to these issues exist in our communities. When we listen to our elders, when we support and work with Indigenous rangers - these are examples of our adaptive capacity and effectiveness in applying First Nations knowledge to respond to climate challenges.
“If we write ‘Yes' we can give First Nations communities greater decision-making authority and create transformative change that centres our strength and solutions in climate policy across the country, protecting our country, the climate and generations to come.
“There is no climate justice without First Nations justice.”
David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said:
“Across this great continent, First Nations people are the first experts in climate solutions. Writing Yes in the referendum is a way to say that we want to hear the wisdom and expertise of the oldest living culture on earth, whose leadership is essential for better environment and climate outcomes.
“First Nations communities are also on the frontline of climate impacts and the fight against fossil fuels, but do not have an equal say in policies that affect them. We know that policies are more effective when those who are affected by them have a voice, and a powerful 'Yes' vote will achieve just that.”
Kelly O’Shanassy, ACF’s CEO said:
“Rightful recognition of, and genuine reconciliation with, First Nations Peoples is fundamental to protecting nature in Australia.
“As we confront the urgent climate and nature crises, we have much to learn from listening to the country’s original, enduring custodians.”