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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 7 Hansard (2 August) . . Page.. 2681 ..


In the past decades, people like me may have believed that climate change was causing extreme weather, but the response of climate deniers has always been that you cannot prove it, the weather is always variable, and Australia is the land of drought and flooding rain.

Now scientists are saying—here I quote from the Guardian—that "This is the face of climate change". This came from Professor Michael Mann at Penn state university, who is one of the world's most eminent climate scientists. He went on to say:

We literally would not have seen these extremes in the absence of climate change ... The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle ... We are seeing them play out in real time and what is happening this summer is a perfect example of that ... We are seeing our predictions come true ... As a scientist that is reassuring, but as a citizen of planet Earth, it is very distressing to see that as it means we have not taken the necessary action.

As a fellow citizen of the Earth, I am very distressed that we are not taking sufficient action to stop the greenhouse effect changing our climate. In the ACT, we have a target to be carbon neutral by 2050. This is good. If the whole world adopted this policy, we would all be a lot better off than we are now.

Despite our admirable policy, we cannot rest on our laurels; we need to do more. Our climate change target, with the exception of electricity, only relates to greenhouse gases emitted in the territory. The ACT imports most of its food and other material goods. Because of this, Canberra's ecological footprint, when it was evaluated in 2011-12—the most recent time, unfortunately, that it was done—came in at 8.9 global hectares per person. At that, we are 3½ times the global average per person, we are above the average footprint for Australians, and we are at 14 times the land area in the ACT.

The message is that as well as addressing our democratic deficit, we need to do more for our environment if we want our children to be able to inherit the beautiful and resilient world that we have the pleasure to live in now.

Federal government—territory rights

Plastic Free July

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (5.21): I would also like to echo Ms Cheyne's remarks that the ACT and the Northern Territory should be able to make their own laws regarding all the same rights the states have.

For the month of July I participated in the Plastic Free July challenge. This was the first time I had taken part in the challenge. I would like to take the opportunity this evening to speak about how important this initiative is both locally and nationally.

The Plastic Free July challenge was founded by the Plastic Free July Foundation, with the mission to build a global movement that dramatically reduces plastic use and improves recycling. According to the foundation, over 2 million people across the


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