The COVID-19 Recovery Can Help Solve the Climate Crisis
Right now we have the opportunity to ensure that post-COVID-19 government stimulus spending goes towards jobs-rich projects that lower our greenhouse emissions and help solve the climate crisis.
But the COVID-19 Commission and Energy Minister Angus Taylor want to support climate-damaging fossil gas instead. We've written to the COVID-19 Commission and the Prime Minister to call for investment in climate solutions as part of the economic recovery, and requesting them not to fund climate-damaging projects such as coal, gas and oil projects.
Now your parliamentarians need to hear from you!
ASK YOUR POLITICIANS TO MAKE THE COVID RECOVERY A CLIMATE-POSITIVE ONE
Below is a template letter, easy to copy to your own email.
Your letter will be most effective if you:
- tell them you are a voter in their electorate - this is important to them!
- tweak it to make it a little more personal - eg. describe your family, or local climate impacts.
- ask for a reply so that the letter has to go through a process of getting responded to. It may get referred to the Minister for Emissions Reduction.
- email is fine, or for extra impact post the letter on paper and even include a photo of your child or a drawing from them.
Find your Federal MP's and Senators' addresses here (use the search box at the bottom of the page). You have one MP and several Senators - please write to them all!
Please also send your letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor, and the COVID-19 Commission. They need to hear from loving parents concerned for their children's futures!
Dear MP (or Senator),
I live in your electorate and I’m writing to ask you to ensure that the economic stimulus from COVID-19 be focused on creating clean, local and sustainable jobs.
The COVID-19 shutdown has been a very difficult time for many Australians and I very much appreciate the bi-partisan efforts at Federal and State levels to protect Australians’ health and jobs.
Yet, while the COVID-19 pandemic is a big challenge for Australia and the world, it pales in significance compared to the climate crisis that is looming over us if we don’t act urgently to cut greenhouse emissions.
The recovery from the COVID-19 economic shutdown presents an unparalleled opportunity to reshape our economy for the good of all and to address the climate crisis at the same time. In fact, the solutions to cutting our emissions and meeting our responsibilities to take global climate action are a huge opportunity for jobs and growth in Australia.
Investing in clean industries will provide a pathway to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of good jobs and careers for Australians. This will also realise enormous benefits for Australian communities and families, such as cleaner air, water and food, more liveable cities, and, critically, help to reduce the frequency of natural disasters such as the terrible recent bushfires and drought.
It is with this in mind that I request that the government focus its economic stimulus packages on solutions that both create jobs and solve the climate crisis.
Importantly, Australia will not be able to cut our emissions, and help other nations do the same, unless we also phase out gas and coal extraction. Therefore I request that the government prioritise the seven areas listed below and do not invest additional national funds into fossil fuel industries, which have already enjoyed enormous government subsidies over decades.
Gas is far too expensive and too emissions-intensive to be considered part of the climate transition. The baseload storage that we need can come at lower financial and climate cost from batteries and hydro, as well as by sharing energy across the grid. Our exported energy should be renewable rather than gas or coal so that we play a genuine role in assisting other countries to decarbonise - indeed, Australia could be a major renewable energy exporter if we don’t miss the boat.
One particular jobs-rich, climate-positive investment I would like to see is a program of installing solar panels and energy efficiency retrofits in every public and non-profit school, child care centre and kindergarten in Australia.
In addition there are seven major areas of action I would like the government to include in its economic stimulus packages, all with solutions that already exist and have already proven to be feasible and scalable :
1. Clean Energy - a rapid growth in clean energy to 100% of our energy including battery, hydro and other storage, plus grid upgrades. Convert from gas to electricity in homes and industry. Export excess energy overseas through green hydrogen.
2. Energy Efficiency - a national roll-out of energy-efficiency retrofits to homes and businesses to make them low-energy and ready for heat and bushfires.
3. Transition to 100% electric transport - cars, buses, trains, trams and bikes can be converted to electric by Australian industry, creating many local manufacturing jobs.
4. Transition industrial processes to low carbon through innovation grants - there are many cutting-edge, low-carbon industrial processes which currently need seed-funding to be expanded, such as drawdown cement and renewable energy-powered steel refining.
5. Natural Carbon Drawdown Solutions - a huge program of tree planting, revegetation, regenerative agriculture, seaweed generation and coastal wetland (“blue”) carbon to rapidly drawdown emissions.
6. Shift to a zero-waste circular economy so that all waste is repurposed. There are many jobs-rich opportunities to support new industries in recycling materials into new products.
7. Support low-emissions, sustainable agriculture - projects to reduce emissions from livestock and to retain soil carbon would create more jobs in the agriculture sector and make our food supplies more resilient.
The COVID-19 crisis has shown that the Australian government and people are able and willing to act rapidly to protect our nation from a crisis.
Will you champion the above solutions and stand against fossil gas, coal and oil so that we can urgently protect our children and our nation from the climate crisis, whilst creating thousands of good clean jobs throughout Australia in the process?
I look forward to your reply.
Name, Address, Phone
Australian Parents for Climate Action is a volunteer-run group of parents fighting for a safe future for our children. If you care about a safe future for all children, please donate to our work to help us amplify your voices!
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