Thousands rally in Australia for climate action

November 17, 2013
Firefighters battle a bushfire near Faulconbridge in the Blue Mountains on October 24, 2013

Thousands of people on Sunday rallied across Australia calling for stronger action on climate change, days after new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott moved to abolish a carbon tax.

Activist group GetUp, which organised the National Day of Climate Action, estimated that more than 60,000 people turned out at protests.

"From remote country towns to the big cities, Australians have come to their own conclusions after our hottest year on record. And they want action," GetUp national director Sam Mclean told reporters.

Australia has just experienced the hottest 12 months ever recorded, which coupled with massive bushfires in New South Wales state last month has inflamed debate about whether there is a link to .

The rallies also followed Abbott last week introducing a bill into parliament to repeal a designed to combat change as his first major economic reform since taking office.

Abbott said the September 7 election which he won decisively had been a referendum on the future of the tax which was imposed by the former Labor government on major polluters from 2012 in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

He instead favours a "direct action" plan that includes an incentive fund to pay companies to increase their energy efficiency, a controversial sequestration of carbon in soil scheme, and the planting of 20 million trees.

Image taken on November 8, 2013 shows the Sydney Harbour under a thin layer of smoke due to bushfires and back burning

But the Climate Action Tracker, an independent monitor of countries' carbon pledges and actions, claims it will increase Australia's emissions by 12 percent in 2020 instead of reducing them by five percent from 2000 levels as per its own target.

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek told a rally in Sydney that the government needed to get back to basics on climate change.

"Australia is going backwards, the rest of the world is going forwards accepting that climate change is real and accepting that we must act," she told some 10,000 protesters who braved driving rain, holding placards reading "One Climate. Our Future," and "Hands off Carbon Tax Abbott."

"Australia can't go backwards in the face of global action. Is climate change real? Yes. Was climate action working? Yes."

Australia is among the world's worst per capita polluters due to its reliance on coal-fired power and mining exports.

Explore further: Australia PM moves to repeal climate tax

Related Stories

Australia PM moves to repeal climate tax

November 13, 2013

Australia's new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday moved to abolish a carbon tax designed to combat climate change as his first major economic reform since taking office.

New Australian PM abolishes climate watchdog

September 19, 2013

Australia's new conservative government on Thursday abolished an independent climate change commission set up by the previous Labor administration, as part of its plans to streamline bureaucracy.

Australia to scrap carbon tax for trading scheme

July 14, 2013

Key greenhouse gas emitter Australia on Sunday announced it will scrap its carbon tax in favour of an emissions trading scheme that puts a limit on pollution from 2014, a year earlier than planned.

Recommended for you

'Smoke rings' in the ocean spotted from space

December 11, 2017

Researchers from the University of Liverpool have spotted the equivalent of smoke-rings in the ocean which they think could 'suck-up' small marine creatures and carry them at high speed and for long distances across the ocean.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1.4 / 5 (18) Nov 17, 2013
Abbot speaks to imaginary friends in the air.
2.5 / 5 (11) Nov 17, 2013
Abbot speaks to imaginary friends in the air.

Couldn't agree more. I'll bet he goes to church every Sunday.
1.2 / 5 (18) Nov 17, 2013
more like 6000 ........ out of 23 million.....these are the alarmists, a very tiny but extremely vocal minority
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 17, 2013
Yes VENDItardE - you own the truth - and no one but you and Nik are the holders of the keys. Except that even in the most conservative states of the most conservative country I could imagine - "a majority of people not only believe that climate change is negatively impacting their environment but they actually want the government to step in to address the problem."

From - http://www.common.../11/14-0
5 / 5 (4) Nov 18, 2013
"a very tiny but extremely vocal minority" - Venditard

You are of course referring to the Denialists.

A tiny minority of useful idiots being managed by an even smaller number of paid shills in the employ of Big Coal, Big Oil, and Evil men.
1.7 / 5 (11) Nov 18, 2013
Abbot speaks to imaginary friends in the air.

Probably correct. Rather, he probably trades penny stocks with imaginary friends in the sky.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.