"I feel like we are a page ripped out of the IPCC report," says Kate.

Still extremely emotional as she shows Northern Rivers Storyteller Paul Daley around her soggy yard and pile of destroyed personal belongings destined for landfill.

"I'm sad. And I'm mad. And I’m shocked. I grew up around Lismore and so I know it’s a flood town. And I accepted that as a part of living here."

Kate and Gloria standing in front of a pile of destroyed belongings

Kate and Gloria outside their home in Lismore.

"But this was beyond what you could prepare for. We worked all Sunday [before the first flood] helping businesses prepare. I felt proud, and ready. And it all came to nothing."

"I’ve lost trust, I don’t feel safe. And I feel so sad for our town."

With the third IPCC just out, this one on Mitigation of Climate Change, the message couldn't be clearer. The world must urgently phase out fossil fuels to avert climate chaos.

Gloria writing the message "Climate Action Now" in chalk

Gloria writing her message on the wall of her flood-wrecked house.

One of Kate's children is Gloria — she's 10. After living through the flood, she wrote a letter to her local nationals representative about why we need to stop digging up and burning coal and gas.

"I am writing to you about climate change around the world, but mostly in Australia.

"As you know, Lismore just had a massive flood and my home was filled with water. My little sister and I lost all our clothes, our special toys, beds and my lovely piano, are all gone!

"Bushfires can also be very devastating. People lose their homes, and some people and animals can die."

Aerial photo of flooding in Kyogle, a town near Lismore

Flooding in Kyogle, near Lismore

Witnessing the floods, and the raw anger and emotion that came afterwards showed Paul Daley how so many people in the communities around Lismore are behind "our need to be really taking climate damage seriously — to no longer waste precious time on delaying action."

In the new IPCC report, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has said:

"Climate activists are sometimes depicted as dangerous radicals. But the truly dangerous radicals are the countries that are increasing the production of fossil fuels.

"Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness."

Protestors holding a sign reading "This is a climate crisis!"

Lismore residents rallying for climate action after the floods

In the way communities do in a crisis, Lismore and surrounds have come together in so many ways over the last weeks.

Thousands of meals have been made and handed out to people on the ground, families who had lost their homes — across Lismore, Coraki, Casino and Kyogle.

Communities are stepping in to support each other through this. But to prevent further climate-fuelled crises we all need our governments to step up and get behind the solutions that are here now.

Solutions that will look after people and our planet.

Community members preparing food in a large kitchen

Community cook-ups have continued to feed people in the Northern Rivers

The solutions are here and ready

António Guterres says "some government and business leaders are saying one thing — but doing another. Simply put, they are lying. And the results will be catastrophic."

At the current rate, Australia won't achieve net zero emission for another 100 years.

"The good news is the tools we need are tried and tested and already available to us — but they must be implemented now," he says.

"We can all share the benefits of climate solutions — cleaner air and water. Affordable, reliable cleaner energy. Jobs in growing industries. And we can protect the people and places we love."

Done right, we can all share the benefits of climate solutions — cleaner air and water. Affordable, reliable cleaner energy. Jobs in growing industries. And we can protect the people and places we love.

People across Australia want real action from our government to cut climate pollution. If we speak up together they will listen.

Sign the petition to end coal and gas in Australia this decade and call on our government to invest in renewable energy and exports that can replace coal and gas, slash pollution and create climate-positive jobs that future-proof our economy.

Sign the petition

Let's urge the Albanese Government to end public money for fossil fuels and slash climate pollution. Add your name to the petition.

Photos: Paul Daley, Northern Rivers, NSW.

Marian Reid

Senior Content Producer at Australian Conservation Foundation