Marching for climate justice

image from climate change march in MelbourneThe Uniting Church in Australia will officially support the People’s Climate Marches taking place around Australia and the world in November.

The marches are scheduled for the weekend of 27-29 November 2015, ahead of UN climate talks in Paris.  They are expected to take place in hundreds of major cities throughout the world. The Melbourne march will begin at the State Library of Victoria on Friday 27 November at 5pm.

The rallies will send a strong message to Australia’s political leaders to shift away from dirty polluting fossil fuels and transition to clean, renewable energy.

Last year, more than 30,000 protestors gathered in the streets of Melbourne as part of the 2014 march.

Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan said he was delighted the Church is participating in an important global campaign.

“Since our foundation almost 40 years ago, we in the Uniting Church have repeatedly voiced our concern for the wellbeing of the planet and the rights of future generations to enjoy our natural environment,” he said.

“Uniting Church members will join others marching to express our concern for the whole of creation. This is also for us an important action we take in solidarity with our Pacific and other international partner churches.”

It remains to be seen whether there will be a shift in the federal government’s climate change policies following Monday’s leadership spill. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull previously argued for stronger action on climate change. However, he has since expressed support for the government’s Direct Action policy, describing it as a “resounding success”.

Rev Elenie Poulos, national director of UnitingJustice Australia, urged the Australian government to lift its commitment to address climate change.

“Australia’s announced emissions reduction target of 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 remains well short of the level experts say is required to reverse the effects of climate change,” she said.

“There’s still time for the Australian government to put a more ambitious target on the table in Paris, and we should be doing what we can to encourage our government to aim higher.”

Rob Floyd, UnitingWorld national director, said partner churches across the Pacific are seeking a stronger global response to the threat of climate change.

“The message to the world by Pacific leaders is clear. It is our responsibility as custodians and stewards of the earth to respond responsibly and ethically,” he said.

“Small island states are already suffering the impacts of climate change and we need a concerted international response to address this very real threat to humanity.”


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