Tuesday, 15 October 2019
I second the motion. It is undeniable that we live in a climate emergency. Politicians in hundreds of jurisdictions right around the world know we're in a climate emergency. Scientists—thousands of scientists—know we live in a climate emergency. Military planners know we're in a climate emergency. The community knows we're in a climate emergency. The thousands of people enduring the gripping drought around this country know we're in a climate emergency. The many people who endured bushfires recently know that we are in a climate emergency. Our children know we're in a climate emergency. I was so proud of my two young daughters when I accompanied them to the recent climate strike. But this government does not know we are in a climate emergency. This is the opportunity for this government to change direction, to support the motion by the member for Melbourne and to join thousands of politicians in hundreds of jurisdictions right around the world, including in countries with conservative governments like the UK, and to finally say, 'Yes, we are in a climate emergency and we will do something about it'.
The Tasmanian government too seem to be in a complete and utter state of denial, keen as they are to develop our coal resources—in Tasmania of all places—with their full support behind a proposal for mines in the Midlands that will be exporting three million tonnes of coal a year from Tasmania to markets in Asia. They don't worry that it's going to ruin our clean, green reputation and cost us billions of dollars in lost opportunities for our food exports and tourism.
We must declare a climate emergency. The government must get behind this motion. The alternative government must get behind this motion as it's written. Then we need to put this country on a credible pathway to dealing with climate change, including a commitment to zero net carbon emissions as fast as we humanly can and a credible pathway for reliance on 100 per cent renewable energy as fast as we can. Then not only will we finally be dealing effectively with climate change but we'll be unleashing the potential to be a global leader in addressing climate change, a global leader in renewable technologies and the country where we invent the best energy solutions, export those solutions and send teams to install those solutions to unleash a remarkable amount of wealth for this fortunate country of ours. And, in addition to the economic benefit, we will be able to go to bed at night and know that we have done what is right—what is morally and practically right—and that we have done everything in our power to ensure that we're doing our bit around the world.
It's not good enough for the government to say, 'We're only one or two per cent of global emissions.' You know what we are: we're the source of 29 per cent of coal that's traded globally around the world. That's got to stop. We've got to wind down the coal industry, not open any new coalmines and put ourselves on a pathway to zero net carbon emissions, 100 per cent renewable energy and not being an exporter, because—let's face it—we export more pollution than we even generate ourselves. Those export industries have got to be wound up.
I know there are other people wanting to have their say, so I'll wind it up there. I second this motion, I applaud the member for Melbourne and I stand next to him when we say, 'We are in a climate emergency, we must acknowledge that and we must address that.'