THIRTEEN Jewish groups have banded together to urge the federal government to implement a national strategy and action plan “to address the climate crisis”.
Noting the current bushfire disaster and referencing warnings from scientists since the 1980s about droughts, floods, diseases and species extinction, the organisations state that “everything that climate scientists, fire chiefs, economists, financial experts, environmentalists and insurance companies have long predicted … has been proven correct.
The groups behind the call are Aleph Melbourne, Ameinu Australia, the Australian Jewish Democratic Society, Dayenu, Habonim Dror Australia, Hashomer Hatzair Australia, Inner West Chavura, J-Greens Victoria, Jewish Labour Bund Melbourne, Jewish Voices for Peace and Justice (NSW), Meretz Australia, Netzer Australia and NIF Australia.
Claiming that “many political leaders have yet to accept the need for immediate and transformative action to avert global catastrophe”, they urge the government to implement a plan to address the crisis “through mitigation, adaptation and a just transition to a climate resilient economy.”
They also call for more ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gases, the introduction of carbon pricing, phased out reliance on, and export of fossil fuels, a national strategy to retrain workers in fossil fuel industries and to develop Australia’s renewable energy potential and to ensure Australia contributes conscientiously to global efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The groups further call on “state governments, local and city authorities, religious, ethnic and civil society organisations, business leaders and fellow citizens, if they are not already doing so, to exert pressure on our leaders to this end”.
Robin Margo, one of the organisers, told The AJN, “Kol hakavod to Stand Up, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) and others collecting funds to help bushfire victims. We fully support those efforts.
“But many members of our community know we also have to do more.
“The ECAJ has a climate change policy on its website and we think raising funds for bushfire victims while avoiding mention of the urgent need for climate action is like mopping the brows of plague victims and ignoring the plague-carrying rats.”