On New Years Day Australian climate activist Steve Posselt set off on his kayak from Ballina. His goal is to journey 1,200 kilometres down the coast to Moruya, and then to drag the wheeled kayak 180 kilometres over the mountains to Canberra.
The petition was launched in June 2016, with the support of an open letter from 24 eminent Australians, including Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Ian Dunlop, former Chair of the Australian Coal Association, Carmen Lawrence, and Professor Tim Flannery.
Paul Barratt, a former Secretary of the Departments of Defence and Primary Industries & Energy, and a former CEO of the Business Council of Australia said at the time, “Just as we have faced fire, flood, drought and military threat in the past we now need to throw everything we can at the climate crisis. We must make action on global warming the nation’s highest-level priority.”
Posselt, a water engineer, gained world attention when he kayaked 5,000 kilometres to the Paris Climate Summit through the United States and Europe. He does not believe the measures agreed to in Paris are enough.
“We need to accept the science, ask our government to declare a climate emergency, and immediately mobilise resources,” he says.
“I must be able to look my grandkids in the eye and say once we knew the extent of the problem, we did everything we possibly could to address it.”
Tom Hunt, of the Wollongong Climate Action Network, shares Posselt’s concerns and says that his group has arranged events to drum up support for the petition while he is in the Illawarra.
“We’re encouraging people to come down to the Harbour and meet Steve when he arrives, then stay for his talk,” he says.
Details: Thurs 2 February. Gather at the Harbour for the arrival at 6pm. Kayakers welcome.
Presentation in Scout Hall at 6.30pm. Petition can be signed online at http://www.climateemergencydeclaration.org