January 8, 2020

The fires in Australia must drive home the urgency for climate action

Manila, 7 January 2020: Months of catastrophic bushfires in Australia have now burned 19.8 million acres, destroyed hundreds of homes, injured or killed millions of animals, and left two dozen people dead.

Chuck Baclagon of 350.org Pilipinas issued the following statement:

“Coming from a region on the frontlines of the climate crisis, our hearts go out to Australia, its people, and its biodiversity.

What we are seeing is the tragic consequence of responding to longstanding scientific consensus on climate change with denial in both the national and global levels of policy.

Every part of the world has its own impacts to consider: the melting Arctic and alpine areas; the impacts of typhoons, floods, hurricanes, cyclones and rising sea levels on coastal communities; and expanding deserts in already arid lands. In all these scenarios, it is always the poor and the marginalized that are often hit the hardest.

We know that if we do nothing, then the Earth is heading for 4-5 degrees of global warming. In that scenario, what we are seeing this season would become the ‘new normal’. This is unacceptable.

The fires in Australia must drive home the urgency to work on all fronts to mobilize people and shift financial flows towards building a low-carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep global warming well below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We must do so to ensure our collective survival.”