Wednesday, 16 December 2015

A New Deal for Nature!

This is a campaign being driven by the Nature Conservation Council and one we have chosen to support. We have reproduced their letter here and would ask you to please sign the pledge and let's help push things along!

As the dust settles on the historic climate deal just forged in Paris it’s time to take stock of where we’re at in NSW and ask ourselves if we’re doing our fair share.
In Paris, world leaders committed to limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees. The agreement is far from perfect but it’s a huge step forward and sets the standard for the world we want to live in. Now the real work begins to make sure this commitment is achieved. That’s where you and I come in.
Across NSW we have so much at stake from runaway climate change – our rivers will run dry, bushfires will rage fiercer than ever and severe storms and floods will batter our roofs and coastlines. The severe impacts of runaway climate change on nature and communities can be hard to grapple with.
That’s why I’m more committed than ever to making sure NSW does our part. 
In the lead up to the Paris talks, you helped make history. Thousands of you did whatever you could to contribute, whether it was signing a petition, donating, attending Australia’s largest climate doorknock or taking to the streets for the People’s Climate march - all to secure a deal for our climate.
Now, as the Australian Government considers how we will reach our commitment to keep warming below 2 degrees here in NSW we have three vital solutions at our fingertips:
  1. Protect our forests and bushland as carbon stores and wildlife havens;
  2. Keep coal and gas in the ground; and
  3. Implement a strong renewable energy target for NSW to drive clean energy investment.
Pictured: The NCC crew at the People's Climate March. Photo: Shaun Murray
Together you and I are pushing the NSW Government on all three fronts, but in 2016 we will need your help more than ever.
As I write the Baird Government is working behind the scenes to tear up the laws that protect our native bushland from landclearing, which is not only terrible for wildlife but releases huge amounts of carbon in to our atmosphere. When landclearing laws were torn up in QLD over 35 million tonnes of carbon emissions were released into the atmosphere – that’s the equivalent of almost 2 million households! We can’t let that happen here in NSW.
This is a live issue that’s hanging in the balance. Stand up for our climate and our native animals - sign the pledge for a New Deal for Nature.
Despite saying NSW should be a renewables powerhouse like the California of Australia, the Baird Government continues to allow massive coal mines to destroy endangered woodlands and habitat for threatened animals like the quoll and koala. The drinking water catchment for Sydney’s 4.5 million people is still at risk from expanded coal mines and the Liverpool Plains food bowl is set for destruction from Shenhua’s massive open cut coal mine.
This is not my vision for NSW, and I’m sure it’s not yours.
In 2016 we have our work cut out for us to make sure the momentum from the Paris agreement results in meaningful action. Words on paper will never be enough. But for now, I hope you’re proud of the impact we’re making together.
Onwards to a safe climate future!

Kate Smolski
Nature Conservation Council