Today Abigail spoke in support of a Greens-led motion, which highlights the continued failure of the LNP Government to listen to calls from climate activists.
There is a global consensus across civil, scientific and political communities that the Earth is heating and it is due to human‑induced greenhouse gas emissions. We are barrelling towards a critical tipping point of 1.5 degrees Celsius, and every measure must be taken to prevent that catastrophe. Every tonne of coal, oil and gas that we burn drives us further down the path of catastrophic heating. Every increment of heating will be suffered by billions of people around the world for generations to come. Again and again, this point has been made. Just this year we have had the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, a landmark international energy agency report, and most recently the United Nations COP26 conference, which saw global leaders come together with the sole purpose of affirming their commitments to prevent the most catastrophic of global heating effects. The research has been done, proven, checked, double‑checked, presented and agreed upon. The time for action is now.
Despite this, emissions continue to rise and the fossil fuel industry maintains its suffocating grip on our politics and major political parties. When action from the government of the day fails to materialise, it is understandable that there will be engaged and responsible citizens who stand up and demand it. I and The Greens applaud the actions of the brave people who have spent more than a week now taking direct action to prevent the environmental vandalism being perpetrated every day due to Australia's fixation with fossil fuels. Nonviolent direct action does not sit separately from politics. Protest movements are a vital pillar and force in a democracy. The Government does not get to tell people when and where they can exercise that democratic right. As an member in this House, I have the privilege of amplifying their voices and joining my own voice to theirs. We are calling on the Government to care about people and the planet, not profits.
Yesterday representatives from both major parties rolled out into the media to condemn these brave activists, announcing a special police task force and threatening them with 25‑year prison sentences. The irony is that, on our current trajectory, in 25 years we will have trampled all over a 1.5 degree target, setting off a cascading series of negative feedback loops and tipping point events but this Government would still have us burning fossil fuels. I have nothing but the highest respect for the brave activists doing their part on the ground to protect our planet. When governments fail in their jobs and fail to see climate common sense, people should and will engage in peaceful action to get their attention and demand they do better. These people deserve our thanks. We all deserve better than a political system beholden to the fossil fuel industry.
The full debate can be found on Hansard, here.