Election 2013 media panel

Time to stop pretending that we really care about our kids and grandkids futures

The Global Climate Wake-Up Call, Maldives

We are about to show the children of today and tomorrow and the rest of the world that we don’t really care about them.

Australians are about to elect the Coalition into federal government. A Coalition that is not fair dinkum about doing our fair share to prevent dangerous climate change.

Our existing emission reduction targets are completely inadequate yet even before he gets into government Tony Abbott is already preparing to abandon them.

At a time when we need the people of the world to urgently come together and commit to the massive increases in emission reductions that are required to prevent dangerous climate change Australia is about to set the most unethical example to the rest of the world by doing the opposite. As I have said before, if a high emission per capita wealthy nation like ours won’t commit to doing its fair share how can we expect anyone else to?

This election is likely to have significant international implications. Can anyone honestly image Tony Abbott standing on the world stage calling for more ambitious emission reduction targets?

The mainstream media has played a major role in bringing this irresponsibile situation about. Some sections of it more than others. The media has been as absent from public climate change discussions and election forums as the Coalition has. Where is the indepth media scrutiny of the short-comings of the proposed climate change policies? Where is the media outrage at the very idea that the Coalition is willing to walk away from our emission reduction commitments?

Most of the mainstream media seems to be stuck in denial and avoidance of the problem. However, to place all the blame at their feet would be unfair.

Voices advocating for the children of today and tomorrow have been almost completely absent from the public climate change debate, especially during the election campaign. The existing organisations set up to speak up for and protect the interests of children are clearly inadequate for the challenge that dangerous climate change presents. We need new bodies at the state and national levels to represent and advocate for the children of the future because the adults of Australia are failing to look after them.

Ultimately all of us will be judged by the kids of today and tomorrow for what we did and didn’t do to protect them from dangerous climate change.

What will your answer be when they ask what you did?