13 Feb 2020

Pacific climate activists call for urgent action from Australia

10:03 am on 13 February 2020

Pacific climate activists have called for urgent action from the Australian government including asking them to cut ties with the local Minerals Council.

On Wednesday '350 Pacific' joined with local community environmentalists to hold a demonstration outside Parliament highlighting the destruction they say has been caused by the climate emergency.

A Pacific climate campaigner

A Pacific climate campaigner Photo: 350.org

"A lot of Pacific Islanders call Australia home. You've got second and third-generation Australians who originally came from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji," said Patricia Mallam from 350.org.

"You have Pacific Islanders living in Australia who hear about it at home in the island and are now seeing it unfold right in front of them."

The group, numbering about 100, said the government needed to acknowledge the damage and immediately cease its support for the fossil fuel industry.

Pacific climate activists demonstrate outside the Australian Parliament

Pacific climate activists demonstrate outside the Australian Parliament Photo: 350.org

Ms Mallam said the situation had become desperate with the region dealing with increasingly intense storms and Australians having to deal with huge bush fires, hail storms and flooding.

"It's been those types of climate impacts that are making a lot more people sit up and pay attention and [say] 'oh hang on this is not normal' and we are trying to capitalise on that and remind people that it is not going to get any better than this unless we act immediately."

Ms Mallam said the climate issues were not just adversely impacting Pacific Islanders.

"What we are seeing in the Pacific in terms of increased natural disasters and the increased intensity of the disasters is now not just isolated to the Pacific region," she said.

"Australians are seeing bushfires rage all across Australia and then all of a sudden you have freak storms like hail and the recent flood that took over parts of New South Wales."

Ms Mallam said there had been no response from the Australian government to what she called "a very peaceful, but hard-hitting protest".

Pacific climate activists outside the Australian parliament

Pacific climate activists outside the Australian parliament Photo: 350.org

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