EMBARGOED UNTIL 10 NOVEMBER 2021
Dear Prime Minister Morrison
We are writing to you as Australian leaders from every sector of the economy and society representing seven million Australians and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic activity – First Nations, finance and faith, cities and states, business big and small, agriculture, resources and energy, health and social service, unions, think tanks, and higher education. Together, we are showing the Australian way to zero emissions futures - and we need your support.
Your commitment to net-zero emissions is a welcome step, but it is not enough. The Australian way to get there must involve us – state and local governments, the private sector, civil society and academia – in the design and implementation of ambitious policies and action to slash climate pollution this decade.
Many of us are already demonstrating climate solutions underway in our sectors – through best-practice agriculture, by turbocharging statewide renewable energy zones, committing to city-wide 100% renewable energy goals, decarbonising investment portfolios in the trillions, developing ethical zero-carbon lithium mining for EV batteries, crafting national strategies on climate and health, showcasing how Indigenous Knowledge Systems heal country, and creating sustainable jobs to build better futures for all Australians.
Australia can no longer stay on the sidelines. The time to act is now, and we have the technology and expertise to make it happen.
We are ready to work with your government to develop and implement a credible plan. A plan that sees Australia transition from fossil fuels in a fair and orderly way, build a thriving economy, sustainable jobs and cohesive communities, enjoy flourishing ecosystems, clean air, and better health, and takes advantage of our opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower. And a plan that gets us there faster. That is the real Australian Way.
The shift from fossil fuels is inevitable, and the momentum unstoppable. Without further ambition this decade, our nation will face increasing isolation and diminishing markets for its resources. Carbon border adjustments will harm Australia’s economy, as other nations race ahead, realising the opportunities for investment in the zero-carbon age.
Before the Glasgow negotiations close, we ask that you recognise our contributions and support our role within the broader framework of the Paris Agreement. And we ask that you integrate our expertise and actions into a credible national plan that will deliver the emissions cuts needed to keep the 1.5C Paris goal within reach, and accelerate Australia’s transition to a better, healthier just and prosperous, zero-emissions future for all.
Australia should, at a minimum, match its allies in the US, the UK and elsewhere, and halve emissions this decade.
We are moving ahead, Prime Minister, and at this historic moment, we need you to move forward with us.