The ongoing flood crisis in Queensland and New South Wales is utterly devastating.

We mourn the tragic loss of life, the suffering of communities and animals, and the damage to landscapes and livelihoods.

On behalf of all of us at ACF, I hope you and your loved ones stay safe, and have the support you need to get through this difficult time.

As communities band together in extreme conditions with enormous courage and care, it is increasingly clear that despite the warnings, our federal government chose not to prepare for the scale and severity of this disaster.

The evidence is clear, from the science and first-hand experiences of communities around the country: climate damage is here now, making extreme weather events like floods more frequent, more extreme and more unpredictable.

It does no one any good to keep talking about disasters like this as “one-in-a-hundred-year events”. Climate damage is making them happen every few years.

web-brisbane-cafe-flood.jpgBrisbane cafe. Photo: Alex Nash, ACF

A responsible government would step up to help affected communities now and take serious action to prevent further climate damage – ramping up climate solutions like clean energy, protecting nature, and cutting pollution by more than half this decade.

But over its nine years in office, the federal government has failed to listen to climate science, failed in its responsibility to take action to reduce climate pollution to safe levels, and has done too little to keep us safe from extreme weather events like these devastating floods.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese must set targets to cut climate pollution at least in half this decade, and announce policies to get us there. Anything less allows big polluters to keep burning climate-damaging fuels, making fire, flood, drought and storms more extreme and volatile.

To all those affected by this ongoing disaster – we stand with you, we demand better for you and all those impacted by climate damage now and in the future.

There are growing avenues for each of us to give funds and goods to provide urgent aid to those affected by this crisis. If you are able, we encourage you to give generously to these efforts.

And as a national movement, we have urgent work to do together to drive down pollution and protect nature and our communities into the future.

When you are safe and able, together let’s raise our voices and demand better of our leaders. You can join over 20,000 others via Together We Can demanding our government take climate action now, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can also donate to ACF’s work, which is only possible through the generosity of our supporters. There’s never been a more critical moment to ensure we continue our work together.

web-can-sign-flood.jpgPhoto: Jo Fraser, ACF volunteer

Let’s keep building our powerful movement all around the country. It is an honour to work with each of you towards a world where communities and nature thrive in a safe climate.

I leave you with this moving account from Jason Lyddieth, ACF’s Brisbane-based climate campaigner, who like many had to abandon his home last week to escape flood waters. Thank you Jason for your powerful words, and the vision you share for how together we can solve the challenges we face.

Header image: Gympie, John Clough

Kelly O’Shanassy

CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation.