I’m very proud to present to parliament a major petition from communities of faith supporting action on climate change and a just transition to renewable energy. Grassroots communities of faith around the country, including Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs and Jews have come together to recognise that climate change is disproportionately affecting poor and marginalised communities around the world and that Australia has a special responsibility to act. The petition calls for stronger action to reduce our emissions, transition away from fossil fuels, move towards renewable energy and support our poorest and most vulnerable neighbours as they face the increasing impacts of climate change. Twenty-five thousand people of faith around the country have signed, all on pen and paper, including 192 of my constituents in Melbourne. I would like to thank my constituents Yen Daly, Tom Allen, Jo Knight and Sister Elizabeth Young of the Sisters of Mercy who met with me in Melbourne to present the petition to me.
Yesterday I stood outside this place with faith leaders of Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities who raised their voices for climate action. Present there were Ms Diana Abdel-Rahman OAM, Lama Choedak Rinpoche, Dr Shailesh Diwedi, Sister Lorraine Gatehouse, Reverend Pamela Phillips, Mr Amardeep Singh, Mr David Shorthouse and Ms Maria Tiimon Chi-Fang. What these leaders and these communities are saying is loud and clear: climate change is a justice issue, and people of faith are responding.
I’m not a person of religious faith, but all of us here must recognise deeply the values that have been expressed in this petition and in the actions of faith communities around the country: that we need to care for each other and that we should not abandon our sisters, brothers and neighbours to a crueller world and the suffering that will be an inevitable result of climate change if we don’t act. The choices before us are stark: we can either work together to care for one another and protect a safe climate or abandon our neighbours, put up walls and make a crueller world. Because climate change is a question of justice, it can’t be solved without justice at the forefront of our response. We won’t stop climate change if we don’t bring everyone along with us and support the most vulnerable communities, and there will be no justice for the vulnerable if we do not stop climate change.
This week the world saw a glimpse of what could be our future if we don’t take action. We saw it in Houston, where Hurricane Harvey left so many devastated or stranded. We saw it in Bangladesh, where extreme rainfall has led to the worst flooding in decades and the deaths of thousands of people. My constituents and the faith leaders that I met yesterday cannot sit by quietly and allow this to happen, and I commend those faith leaders for their action. These are the values that reflect the faith of so many Australians and people around the world. I’m proud to share their message in parliament, and I support their call for a rapid and just transition to renewable energy and urgent climate action.
Chamber Federation Chamber on 7/09/2017 Item Federation Chamber – CONSTITUENCY STATEMENTS – Petition: Climate Change Speaker: Bandt, Adam, MP/ Parliment Transcript used for reporting News.