The largest people-powered climate action in history will take place this weekend as world leaders prepare to meet in Paris for the United Nations climate summit.
In marches in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart and other regional centres Australians will join up to a million people expected to take to the streets in cities around the world to demand that world leaders make agreements in Paris that will ensure a better, safer and brighter future for the world’s communities.
Australians are marching to call for an end to fossil fuels and a shift to 100 per cent renewable energy, and to show their support for those experiencing the worst effects of climate change, especially people living in the world’s poorest communities.
The marches will be colourful, family friendly events, and will be attended by a diverse range of Australians, including firefighters, faith communities, unions and workers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Pacific Islanders, farmers, health professionals, business people, artists and musicians.
“It is an old saying that there is unity in diversity; with so many groups combined to seek change in how we care for creation it encourages all levels of society to work for a better planet. Starting with me. The Catholic Church worldwide is keen to follow Pope Francis’s call to engage in dialogue that we may implement conversion of hearts and minds which leads to a new praxis,” said Father Peter Smith, Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
“Climate change is going to transform work. From the way our industries operate, to the way we consume. This is a great opportunity to create more jobs that are healthier, safer, and secure. Working people demand a smooth transition to a cleaner economy, so no one gets left behind. The time to take action is now,” said Luke Hilakari, Secretary of Victorian Trades Hall Council.
Doctor Anne Poelina, Indigenous scientist and Nyikina Traditional Custodian from the Mardoowarra, Lower Fitzroy River in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia said: “The time has come for a worldwide march of solidarity to demand our governments and transnational companies move away from the exploitation of fossil fuels to renewable energy and invest in ethical ways of green fiscal reform in order save our blue planet for the survival of humanity and all other living species”.
The People’s Climate Marches are being organised in Australia by groups including the Australian Conservation Foundation, WWF, GetUp!, Avaaz, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, 350.org and many local community action groups.
It brings together more than 300 partner organisations including Oxfam, ActionAid, SEED Indigenous Youth Climate Network, numerous unions including the National Tertiary Education Union, Australian Services Union and the Electrical Trades Union, faith and health organisations and Conservation Councils.