By Sharmila Nagar
Research shows more than three quarters of Australians are worried about climate change. Recent bushfires and widespread floods in the eastern states have highlighted the urgent need for action, which is backed up by a new United Nations report on climate change.
The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) takes a disturbing look at the most up to date science on climate change. Written by leading climate scientists, the latest IPCC report emphasises the ongoing damage that climate change is already causing and how it will worsen if not acted upon.
An online panel discussion was held recently by Australia’s Climate Council organisation to present and discuss this report, particularly chapter 11, which covers Australasia and the current climate crisis in the Torres Strait Islands.
The findings from chapter 11 of the report include:
Torres Strait Islanders are on the front line of the climate crisis and urgent action is needed so that they can remain on their islands. Our Islands Our Home is a campaign led by Torres Strait Islanders to protect their island homes.
Eight claimants from Zenadth Kes (Torres Strait Islands), also known as the #TorresStrait8, have brought a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee over the federal government’s inaction on climate change.
The claimants want the federal government to:
We encourage SSTUWA members to share your views about how the union should support these claimants and address climate change in general.
Your union is already gearing up for further action in relation to education and climate change. A list of 15 recommendations from the SSTUWA’s response to the Education and Health Standing Committee – Inquiry into the response of WA schools to climate change was endorsed at December 2021’s Executive meeting.
The SSTUWA has established a working team that is looking at implementing these recommendations and will continue to provide updates to members.
We wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work. We wish to pay respect to their Elders - past, present and future - and acknowledge the important role all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within Australia. We stand in solidarity.
Authorised by Mary Franklyn, General Secretary, The State School Teachers' Union of W.A.
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