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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1616 ..


My daughter is seven years old. She has never experienced a normal year. Since she was born, every year in Canberra was at least one degree above average. She does not know what a normal climate is. She has never lived in one and she probably never will. There is a piece of art hanging in my office about this. I was not allowed to bring props in here, so I invite everyone to come up and have a look at it. The artwork is made by one of my staff, who is also worried about climate change. She made her artwork on a loom, and it is a weaving of Australia’s climate change data from 1910 to 2020. It moves from blues and greys a century ago to oranges and reds now. It is beautiful and it is terrifying. Last year she had to add a new colour, purple, because we broke all the records and the colours she had did not fit the data. We all lived through that purple year, and we all know what it looked like. We had fires, floods, hail, storms, smoke and heatwaves. I am truly frightened when I think about what the next colour is going to bring. By the time my daughter is my age, she will be living in the next colour and Canberra will not have a winter anymore.

We cannot wait until 2050 to act on this. A recent International Energy Agency report made it clear that to stay within a safe climate range, 1½ degrees, there is no more room for new coal, new oil and new gas infrastructure anywhere, starting now. Other countries are already taking action. New Zealand, France, Germany, Uruguay and Costa Rica are all divesting. They are stopping oil exploration and fracking. They are divesting from fossil fuel stocks and they are phasing out coal fired power.

Internationally, we already have agreements in place to ban mining in Antarctica and to ban exploration and mining in world heritage sites. Here in the ACT we do not have any fossil fuel reserves. You can bet that my mates would be locked onto the gates if we did. We cannot keep our fossil fuel in the ground because we do not have any. But what we can do is call on our federal government to do it, and we can get behind this push for a global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. We can maintain our position at the forefront of climate action in this country. We can be a beacon of hope for all the seven-year-olds out there and for all the world leaders who seem to be incapable of acting. What we do in this next decade will determine our planet’s future.

Today’s motion calls on the ACT government to endorse the global movement for a fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. It calls on us to write to the Australian government urging them and other states and territories to do the same. If this motion passes, the ACT will become the highest level of government in the world to call for this treaty. But we will not be acting alone; the city of Moreland in Victoria, the city of Los Angeles, the city of Vancouver and the city of Barcelona have all endorsed calls for the treaty. So have more than 400 organisations.

This movement is supported by 101 Nobel prize winners, including the Dalai Lama. Over 1,300 scientists and academics have joined this call. This treaty would end the expansion of new fossil fuel projects. It would phase out existing projects fairly and in line with climate science. It would ensure a just transition globally for workers, communities and countries that have been dependent on fossil fuel. This treaty would mean an end to all publicly funded fossil fuel infrastructure. We would not have the federal budget that was just handed down. We would stop building rail links to coal ports. We would not pump $600 million of taxpayer money into a gas fired power


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