A United Nations (UN) scientific report 8 years in the making was released last month, revealing our planet is getting hotter, even quicker than first thought. Sparking outrage in the form of protest, on Ocean Grove’s main beach, members of AP4CA (Australian Parents For Climate Action) gathered on Saturday 14th of August to make their voices heard.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report found that humans are responsible for the rapid rise in global warming due to Co2 emissions. It also stated that we have a 10-year window to effect wide scale systemic change to reduce emissions to a minimum of 75% by 2030 or else face catastrophic impacts of global warming.
Helping to sum up the findings, the worlds’ leading scientists gave the media the tagline ‘Code Red’ which the AP4CA used to draw their own line in the sand. AP4CA’s National Community Organiser and Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Grufas, said the Ocean Grove protest was an expression of their sadness and fear about what climate scientists depicted in the IPCC report.
“ It’s a sobering reminder of the scale and urgency that those in power, government and business need to take urgent action. No more empty statements and false targets”, she said.
“We wrote Code Red in the sand to plead with our federal, state and local governments to take urgent action and set real targets with real plans in response to the climate emergency. We must slash our climate pollution over the next ten years. It is no longer safe to talk about 2050”.
With over 14,000 supporters nationally, and more than 30 local groups throughout Australia, the AP4CA has 98 members in the Geelong and Bellarine local group. Their mission is to engage and empower millions of parents across Australia to advocate for climate action in their communities, in the media and to politicians and businesses.
“Our vision is for our children to live safe, healthy, full lives because Australian governments and businesses have implemented the solutions required to ensure a safe climate”, Mrs Grufas said.
The AP4CA aims to fill a critical gap in the climate movement, making climate action possible and desirable for millions of parents who are too busy or hesitant to join other climate groups.
“While the imperative to protect their children should drive parents to act on climate, parenting young children places constant pressure on parents’ time, mobility and energy. This often creates barriers against parents taking climate action”, Mrs Grufas said.
“We protest because many of our counterparts in metro Melbourne, NSW and ACT cannot. We stood for all of you today, on Wadawurrung Country”.
The Ocean Grove Protest aimed to draw attention to the region’s politicians, hoping to see a strong stance for climate change in upcoming elections. Mrs Grufas said the key commitments they are asking from the government and business are:
“To commit to 75% emissions reductions on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2035. Allow no new fossil fuel projects, including stopping the Adani coal mine.Prioritise a smooth and fair transition for all workers and communities impacted by the climate crisis, including fossil fuel industry communities and indigenous communities. Commence a program to rapidly draw down carbon emissions using natural climate solutions including tree planting, regenerative agriculture, kelp forest regeneration and ‘blue carbon’”, she said.
This protest won’t be the last you hear of AP4CA, as they plan to be very active in the lead up to elections.
“There is a better future, one of abundant energy, stable economy and resources for everyone. Our lives won’t be worse but better than today. So our political leaders need to start acting! We hope that Australians will stand united and vote climate first with this upcoming election, our children’s lives depend on it,” Mrs Grufas said.
You can Join the AP4CA’s local group facebook page to stay up to date https://www.facebook.com/groups/1082617088596395.