Greens to declare ACT in state of Climate Emergency


The Greens have today called on the major parties to support a declaration that the ACT is in a state of climate emergency.

In a forthcoming motion to the Legislative Assembly, ACT Greens leader and Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury will call on the major parties to “acknowledge that we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent actions across all levels of Government,” and to “condemn the Federal Government for its continued failure to enact effective climate change policy”.

“As the recent student climate strikers made clear, we must act as though our house is on fire—because it is,” Mr Rattenbury said today.

“Weather here in Canberra is becoming more extreme. We're approaching dangerous environmental tipping points. Animals are becoming extinct. The climate is warming. No one under the age of 40 has lived in a year with global average temperatures below those of last century.

“We must act now or the environmental, social and economic results of climate change will become increasingly perilous.

“Yet despite the realities of our climate change, there are those up on the Hill who refuse to take action.

“They refuse to take action despite the fact that they will soon be working in a building – Parliament House – that will be entirely powered by clean, green renewable energy.

“The ACT is leading the nation and the world in our commitment to real action on climate change, delivering 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and zero net emissions by 2045 at the latest. We are transitioning away from dirty, polluting coal and creating more jobs in the clean, green renewable energy industry.”

Greens candidate for the new seat of Canberra, Tim Hollo, today joined Mr Rattenbury in signing up to the Climate Emergency Declaration.

“We desperately need the next parliament to put us on track to tackle the climate emergency, and people across the community who I speak to are impatient for real action.

“If you don’t have a plan to phase out coal, then you don’t have a plan for climate change, and the Greens will work our hardest to ensure that this basic scientific fact stays on the political agenda through and after the election.

“The best way for the community to ensure that Australia acts with seriousness on the climate emergency is to elect more Greens to both houses, to work constructively and with determination with the next government to pull them in the right direction.

"What's happening in the ACT is proof that when you elect Greens, you get climate advocates who pull the other parties in the right direction and get results."