Members of Sydney’s Pacific Islander community and supporters are kayaking down Sydney Harbour to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s harbourside residence today to protest against the Australian government’s support for fossil fuels and inaction on climate change.
Many Pacific Islands are facing the loss of their homes as climate change drives rising sea levels ever higher. Despite Australia signing the Paris Agreement to limit dangerous global warming, the Turnbull government has made no steps to combat the causes of climate change.
“Rising sea levels caused by the mining and burning of fossil fuels are threatening the very existence of many Pacific Islands,” Joseph Sikulu said.
“By refusing to take serious action, Australia is abdicating its responsibility as good neighbours to stop the Pacific Islands from facing more severe impacts of climate change.”
Fifty kayakers will set off from Blues Beach Reserve, North Sydney, past Kirribilli House, and across the harbour to Lady Martin Beach Point Piper, where they will deliver their protest message to Turnbull’s house.
“By traveling down Sydney Harbour to Lady Martin Beach outside Malcolm Turnbull’s house, we want to show the Pacific that we are standing in this fight alongside them, and we wanted to show Turnbull that that as a community we are fighting for this issue to stay at the top of his agenda,” Sikulu said.
“Climate change poses a serious threat to the Island homes of many Pacific communities. If we want to protect these islands into the future, the Australian government must act now to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
“This election is the perfect time for Prime Minister Turnbull to show he understands the dangers posed by climate change and take real action to protect our Island homes.”
Despite climate action repteadly receiving high levels of support from voters, the Coalition has consistently refused to act.
The government gave no mention of climate change in the Federal Budget, lobbied the United Nations to censor a report on the damage caused by climate change to the Great Barrier Reef, and approved coal mines even after signing the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to under 2 degrees and slashed funding for renewable energy.