I am one of 42,613 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus & Justice. I will vote for a candidate who shows #CommonGrace. I am specifically concerned about Creation and Climate justice.
As Christians, we believe that God loves the world and everything in it, that Jesus came to live as a creature amongst creatures in order to reconcile all things to God, and that the Spirit of Life blows in the living breath we all share. That’s why we are grieved and alarmed by the widespread, worsening and shalom-wrecking ecological and climate harms visible in Australia and beyond. Federal government policies, long inadequate to prevent the squandering of our planet’s shared riches for the sake of short-term profits for the few, have significantly deteriorated in recent years. How can we transform our national policies, culture, economy and infrastructure to make our contribution to a more just and stable world? How can we keep our government accountable as we strive to love our neighbour as ourselves: our poor neighbours, our non-human neighbours, and those neighbours in generations yet to be born?
What strong policy action will you take to protect us from the worst impacts of climate disruption?
With all of this in mind could you please specifically answer the following questions:
- The IPCC have warned that we only have 11 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly increase the risk of extreme weather events, poverty and displacement of millions of people. The Paris commitments so far are less than a third of what is needed to have even a 50:50 chance of achieving this, and Australia’s targets are particularly inadequate, if we are to level the playing field for poorer nations. What do you think is the scientifically credible, and morally proper target for Australia, and what specific climate policies will you deliver to ensure that we meet it?
- Our Indigenous communities in parts of the Torres Strait Islands and Northern Australia are already feeling the impacts of climate change. How are you working with our Indigenous leaders and communities, across Australia, to build a resilient national response to climate change that protects their communities and Australia’s threatened ecosystems?
- Australia is experiencing an increase in extreme weather events and in the last 12 months alone, faced significant environmental disasters including the ongoing drought across NSW and the drying up of the Murray-Darling river system. How will you act to help Australia respond to these environmental emergencies now and into the future?
- Since 1970, 60% of the world’s vertebrate populations have been wiped out, and Australia is one of the worst offenders. We are the only wealthy nation in the top ten worst deforesters. What policy and laws will you enact to strengthen biodiversity protection, halt land clearing, and protect all remaining native forest? Will you ensure that native forest cannot be classified as “renewable” fuel?
- Australia’s largest contribution to destabilising the climate and worsening the air pollution that kills millions of people every year is our export of coal. We export more coal than any other nation and this means that the emissions from Australian fossil fuels result in carbon pollution more than twelve times the global average per capita contribution. What will you do to ensure a rapid phase out of coal export and mining, while taking due account of the workers who will be affected by this?
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