As global pressure builds and the government considers its post 2020 climate targets, a diverse and unprecedented alliance of more than 50 civil society groups has called on parliamentarians to commit to zero carbon pollution in Australia by 2050 at the latest.
In an open letter released today, the groups state that “Australia and Australian people stand to lose so much from the impacts of climate change; it is in our national interest to be amongst the leading nations to ensure the world limits warming to well below 2 degrees. A zero carbon pollution future is possible, and it is all of our responsibility to make that future a reality for our children, and their children.”
The groups include representatives from environmental, aid, legal, health, union, farming, social services and religious sectors, signalling the broad implications of climate change in Australia, but also the potential to unlock major new economic opportunities.
As the letter explains, “a pathway to net zero carbon pollution is an opportunity to modernise the Australian economy and build sustainable prosperous future. Economic modelling shows that under a low carbon pathway the economy will continue to grow to 2.5 times its current size by 2050, and not only will all industries continue to grow, some like agriculture will actually do better.”
Signatories to the letter include 1 Million Women, Australian Fire Fighters Climate Alliance, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation, ACOSS, the Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org, the Australian Marine Conservation Society, the Australia Wind Alliance, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Ballarat Renewable Energy And Zero Emissions, Curtain's CASE, Climate Change Australia, Climate Action Monaro, Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle, the Conservation Council of Western Australia, Environmental Defenders' Office – ACT, Environment Tasmania, Edmund Rice Centre, Friends of the Earth Australia, Environment Victoria, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Lighter footprints, National Parks Association of NSW, National Toxics Network, Nature Conservation NSW, Pacific Calling Partnership, Queensland Conservation Council, South Australian Conservation Council, The Climate Institute, Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health, Wilderness Society, WWF, ACFID, Care Australia, Caritas Australia, Oxfam Australia, Plan, Save the Children, Environmental Farmers Network, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC), Common Grace, Quakers Australia, the Australian Health Promotion Association, Australian Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) at Macquarie University, the Australian Medical Students Association, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australian Women's Health Network, the Climate and Health Alliance, Doctors Reform Society, Public Health Association of Australia, Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH), Melbourne City Mission.