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Change Division
representatives vote 2019-10-15#3

Edited by mackay

on 2019-10-18 11:57:40

Title

  • Motions Climate Change
  • Motions - Climate Change - Suspend the usual rules

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Adam Bandt</p>
  • <p>I seek leave to move the following motion:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the House:</p>
  • The majority voted against a motion introduced by MP for Melbourne [Adam Bandt](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/melbourne/adam_bandt) (Greens), which means it failed. The purpose of this motion was to suspend the usual parliamentary rules (known as [standing orders](https://www.peo.gov.au/understand-our-parliament/how-parliament-works/parliament-at-work/standing-orders/)) so that another question could be put to the House.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for Melbourne from moving the following motion immediately—*
  • >
  • > *That the House:*
  • >
  • > *(1) declares an environment and climate emergency;*
  • >
  • > *(2) recognises that:*
  • >
  • >> *(a) the recent report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C, indicates that we are facing a climate emergency, and as a result, meaningful action on climate change is urgent, at home and internationally;*
  • >>
  • >> *(b) this IPCC report has found that the world is not on track to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius;*
  • >>
  • >> *(c) at a national level, England, France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada have all declared a climate emergency; and*
  • >>
  • >> *(d) unmitigated climate change will lead to a steep increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events that will devastate large parts of Australia and radically impact food production, water availability, public health, infrastructure, the community and the financial system; and*
  • >
  • > *(3) notes that the Government has acknowledged urgent action is required to address climate change and calls on the Government to take urgent action consistent with avoiding catastrophic climate change, the goals of the Paris Agreement and internationally accepted science.*
  • <p class="italic">(1) declares an environment and climate emergency;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) recognises that:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) the recent report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C, indicates that we are facing a climate emergency, and as a result, meaningful action on climate change is urgent, at home and internationally;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) this IPCC report has found that the world is not on track to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) at a national level, England, France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada have all declared a climate emergency; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(d) unmitigated climate change will lead to a steep increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events that will devastate large parts of Australia and radically impact food production, water availability, public health, infrastructure, the community and the financial system; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3) notes that the Government has acknowledged urgent action is required to address climate change and calls on the Government to take urgent action consistent with avoiding catastrophic climate change, the goals of the Paris Agreement and internationally accepted science.</p>
  • <p>Leave not granted.</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the member for Melbourne from moving the following motion immediately&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the House:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) declares an environment and climate emergency;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) recognises that:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(a) the recent report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5 °C, indicates that we are facing a climate emergency, and as a result, meaningful action on climate change is urgent, at home and internationally;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(b) this IPCC report has found that the world is not on track to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) at a national level, England, France, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Canada have all declared a climate emergency; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(d) unmitigated climate change will lead to a steep increase in the severity and frequency of extreme weather events that will devastate large parts of Australia and radically impact food production, water availability, public health, infrastructure, the community and the financial system; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(3) notes that the Government has acknowledged urgent action is required to address climate change and calls on the Government to take urgent action consistent with avoiding catastrophic climate change, the goals of the Paris Agreement and internationally accepted science.</p>
  • <p>If the government can declare a budget emergency, then parliament can declare a climate emergency. Nothing is more urgent than acting when people's lives and livelihoods are under threat. That is what we are witnessing now. This is urgent because people are going to the wall because of climate change. We are experiencing record drought. Some of our communities have been told to expect that they might run out of water over the coming months. Parts of Australia were on fire barely two weeks into spring, and it is clear that we do not have global warming under control. Let me read you a quote:</p>
  • <p class="italic">There is growing agreement between economists and scientists that &#8230; risk of catastrophic and irreversible disaster is rising, implying potentially infinite costs of unmitigated climate change, including, in the extreme, human extinction.</p>
  • <p>That isn't a quote from the people who were out protesting over the last couple of weeks. That isn't a quote from a political party in this place. That is a quote from the IMF, who now understand that extinction is a very real possibility if we do not get global warming under control. What it will mean, if we don't act soon, is that the carrying capacity of the planet shrivels to a billion people by 2100. That is what we are on track for at the moment. That means that by the time my daughter is in an aged-care home or enjoying her retirement we will be on a planet where we have gone from 7.5 billion down to one billion people. I do not want to think about the wars, the conflict, the persecution, the people movements and the fights over resources that are going to come with that, but that is what the world's scientists have told us we are on track for, unless we get global warming under control.</p>
  • <p>The first step in tackling a problem is admitting that you've got a problem. There have been far too many statements like, 'It is okay and climate change is under control'. It is not. It is clearly not under control. We need to move this suspension of standing orders, and we can deal with it quickly, because it's not a motion that seeks to condemn the government and it's not a motion that seeks to take a particular stance on a particular policy issue. It's a motion that stands in the footsteps of the United Kingdom&#8212;where the conservatives have a majority&#8212;who have declared a climate emergency, and of Canada, France, and the many other jurisdictions around the world who have said it is time to tell the truth to people about how severe it is.</p>
  • <p>If we do it, we are sending a very clear message to everyone who is suffering through drought, to everyone who is worried about the next heatwave and to everyone who is worried about water drying up and rising sea levels: we hear you, we understand this is an emergency and we are going to act accordingly. It is critical that we don't just say the science leads us to an emergency but that we declare it, so that we send that message absolutely loud and clear. Once we have declared it, then we can have a sensible debate about the best way to get there. This is a motion that has its genesis with the Greens and the crossbench and is now getting support from Labor. It's something that should, just like in the United Kingdom, get support from the conservatives as well.</p>
  • <p>I say to all of those members on the government side: if you accept the science of climate change then you have to accept what the science is telling us to do. That is to urgently cut pollution. Yes, we can have a debate about how we get there, but we have to accept that. This is an opportunity for every individual member of the government to take a stand, because history will judge where people line up on this vote. History will look back and ask whether we had the courage to tell it like it is and say, 'It's an emergency and we are going to start to act accordingly.' This will put Australia in lock step with the rest of the world and it will be the first step towards telling the truth about how serious global warming is and then starting to fix it.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Ian Goodenough</p>
  • <p>Is the motion seconded?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Andrew Wilkie</p>
  • <p>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&#8212;thousands of scientists&#8212;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'.</p>
  • <p>The Tasmanian government too seem to be in a complete and utter state of denial, keen as they are to develop our coal resources&#8212;in Tasmania of all places&#8212;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.</p>
  • <p>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&#8212;what is morally and practically right&#8212;and that we have done everything in our power to ensure that we're doing our bit around the world.</p>
  • <p>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&#8212;let's face it&#8212;we export more pollution than we even generate ourselves. Those export industries have got to be wound up.</p>
  • <p>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.'</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Mark Butler</p>
  • <p>The Labor Party will support this suspension motion. As members of the House may well know, I lodged, seconded by the member for Shortland, a similar motion seeking to have the parliament declare a climate emergency this afternoon. Although our motions are different in some respects, the broad thrust of the motion being proposed by the member for Melbourne and seconded by the member for Clark is of a similar type to the motion that's been proposed by the Labor Party today.</p>
  • <p>As I think members also know, because they will be receiving advice from their own constituents, there are at the moment almost 350,000 Australians who have signed a petition asking this parliament to follow the lead of parliaments in the UK, Canada and several other nations besides, not to mention all of the city councils and local government areas in Australia and beyond who have declared a climate emergency, because over the past 12 months in particular we have received piece after piece of urgent advice from the world's scientists, from the world's health professionals and from the world's leading economic regulators that things are getting very dire indeed around the climate. The IPCC has issued three reports in the last 12 or 18 months, each of them more urgent than the first, saying that the window is closing on our generation's ability to meet our responsibility to our children, our grandchildren and generations beyond to discharge the commitments set out in the Paris agreement to ensure that global warming is kept well below two degrees and to pursue efforts around 1.5 degrees. The advice from the scientists on the IPCC could not be clearer. In recent days, we've again seen the Bank of England governor, who chaired the Financial Stability Board, reiterate his advice and the advice of that board. The leading 20 economies in the world indicate that this is a leading risk to the stability of the global financial system, echoing advice from the RBA, APRA, ASIC and other economic regulators here in Australia. We've seen very recently the AMA reflect advice of their equivalents overseas that climate change poses a health emergency, reflecting also the advice of the World Health Organization that climate change is the defining health challenge of the 21st century. All of that advice is framed around the commitments in the Paris agreement.</p>
  • <p>What we should all understand is that we are currently on track to exceed three degrees of global warming, which would be utterly catastrophic not just for Australia but for all nations around the world, and the window is closing on our generation's unique ability to meet our responsibility to future generations. As former US President Barack Obama said, this generation is the first to feel the impacts of climate change and the last with a serious ability to do something about it. That is why parliaments in the UK, Canada and several other nations have already recognised climate change as an emergency, and that is why this parliament should do the same thing.</p>
  • <p>The motion moved by the member for Melbourne and the motion lodged by me on behalf of the Labor Party are in relatively uncontroversial terms. They don't seek to make political points about the performance or otherwise of this government in this policy area. We can have a heated debate about what we should be doing and how we should be doing it, but that should be for another day. Today we should try to unite as a parliament about why we should be doing something about climate change and why it is so urgent that this generation, which has a unique place in response to this defining challenge of the 21st century, respond to the advice from economists, from scientists and from health professionals that this is an emergency. That's why standing orders should be suspended to allow this parliament to have this debate.</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>