I am one of more than 56,000 Australian Christians that are part of the Common Grace movement. We are passionate about Jesus and 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 with us on Earth 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:
1. The latest IPCC report warns us that we are on track for catastrophic global warming of over 2oC, and there is simply no room for new fossil fuel developments. We must take action immediately on climate change through strong and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. We have a narrowing window of opportunity to keep global warming to as close to 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly increase the risk of extreme weather events, poverty and displacement of millions of people. What do you think is the scientifically credible, and morally right target for Australia, and what specific climate policies will you deliver to ensure that we meet it?
2. Many of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are already feeling the impacts of climate change. How are you working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities, investing in programs to support communities and Australia’s threatened ecosystems on the frontlines to plan, prepare and adapt to the extreme weather events?
3. Australians are experiencing an increase in extreme weather events and in the last 12 months alone, have faced significant environmental disasters. From record breaking flooding across Southern Queensland and Northern NSW to the hottest summer on record across Greater Perth in 2021-2022. The last decade is also the hottest on record for Australia and Australia’s climate has already warmed by just over 1°C since 1910. How will you act to help Australia respond to these environmental emergencies now and into the future?
4. Between 1970 - 2018, 60% of the world’s vertebrate populations have been wiped out, and Australia is one of the worst offenders. Australia is the only developed nation on the world list of deforestation fronts. 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?
5. 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 and liquified natural gas (LNG). We export more LNG than any other nation and are the second biggest exporter of coal. What will you do to ensure a transition towards 100 per cent renewable electricity and 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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