Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Climate Change spokesperson
Last Friday, about 8,000 passionate young Tasmanians left school to demand politicians take leadership and accept we are living in a climate change crisis. They will be bitterly disappointed at Premier Will Hodgman’s agenda for the next three years of government, where the climate emergency doesn’t rate a mention.
The Premier’s State of the State address didn’t mention climate change once, and he spoke for a full 35 minutes before he even touched on the recent devastating bushfires.
Over summer, people lost their homes and livelihoods, and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is still burning. More than 3% of the State was burnt, with ancient vegetation pushed past the point of recovery.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts the coming summer will be even drier and hotter, with all signs pointing to an El Niño event.
The United Nations has been clear - we have until 2030 to dramatically cut carbon emissions and stabilise our climate, or risk the world warming more than 1.5 degrees. Scientists are telling us, in direct unambiguous language, the consequences for human survival of not reducing emissions fast are dire.
Tasmanians need a Premier who recognises our island State - with the rest of the planet - is facing a climate emergency.
We need to focus on dramatic cuts to emissions across all sectors, keeping carbon in the ground, preparing communities for increasingly extreme climate, and pivoting our industries to a zero carbon future, not a business-as-usual agenda.
Premier Hodgman must commit to the real resources required to limit the damage caused by climate-induced fires in this May’s State Budget.