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Speech: 'A code red for humanity'

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 10 Aug 2021

It's a 'code red for humanity'. That's what the United Nations has called the IPCC's latest warning on climate. The world is heating faster. We're closer than ever to catastrophic change, and, once we hit the tipping point, the climate dominoes will fall, threatening our very existence. The new IPCC report is our starkest warning yet, but the Prime Minister's lack of action on the climate emergency heralds a death sentence for our lands, our forests, our rivers, our oceans and our animals. There is literally not a second left to waste. It's not too late. If we heed the warning and take urgent action, we can still avoid the worst impacts.

The report does make for grim reading, though. It warns that catastrophic floods and fires we are already living through will become the norm, heavy rainfall and river floods are projected to worsen across Australasia, and the intensity, frequency and duration of bushfires will increase throughout Australia. Experts say that Australia needs to reduce its emissions by 75 per cent by 2030 to avoid irreversible climate change. So, at this time of climate collapse, where are Mr Morrison and his government? They are busily fudging numbers and misleading people about our emissions. They are lobbying to override scientists at UNESCO who recommend the Great Barrier Reef be listed as endangered. They are doing dirty deals to dig up more dirty coal and gas with public money. You are the criminals, not the activists trying to save the planet and pushing you to take responsibility.

And while the Liberals are burning through Australia's carbon budget at the risk of catastrophic climate damage, Labor is giving up on the climate action needed and is letting them off the hook. The alarm bells are ringing, yet both major parties have decided to look away. They've sold out to their pals and donors in the fossil fuel industry. What a victory for the coal, oil and gas corporations in their race to stockpile profits while the planet burns! Being slaves to the coal barons is turning all our futures into ash. Millions of lives depend on our response to the climate crisis. Generations across the world will be deprived of the opportunity to live a dignified life if we don't act. You are stealing their future from right in front of their eyes, and they will have to live with the wretched reality of your inaction.

Morrison and co are perpetrating an intergenerational theft so enormous that it wouldn't be believable were we not witnessing it with our very own eyes. If there's no action, the report warns, we will hit 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by 2030. Our forests will burn, sea levels will rise, rivers will dry up and also flood, and our wildlife will suffer. Who has forgotten our last summer when deadly and tragic bushfires in our own backyard ravaged our forests and wildlife and consumed lives? These climate disasters will only intensify as the earth continues to heat up.

I can barely contain my anger when I say that we are sick of you, Mr Morrison. We are sick of your drivel. We are sick of your inaction. Do something, Prime Minister—literally anything—to turn back the clock on your criminal inaction. But you won't, so you and your lot need to be kicked out. Having the Greens in shared power is the only way we'll get emergency action on the climate crisis.

HANSARD LINK

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