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An open letter to Kevin Rudd

54 Environment groups & scientists unite to send open letter to Kevin Rudd

An open letter to Kevin Rudd

We need a strong target to cut greenhouse emissions

Dear Mr Rudd,

There is growing and disturbing speculation that the Federal Government’s soon-to-be announced interim target for emissions reductions will be in the range of 5 to 15 per cent by 2020.

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) identified emissions reduction pathways that are required if we are to maintain a reasonable chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. Based on these IPCC scenarios and an equitable distribution of per capita emissions between countries, developed country emissions need to be 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

We, the undersigned, representing over 50 NGOs and community organisations, are concerned that even these targets (25 to 40 per cent) may be too low, with many scientific observations showing that climate change is happening faster than even the worst case IPCC models predicted.

Australia has a real opportunity to play a leadership role in the international climate negotiations, but the only way to do this is if we set a strong emissions reduction target at home.

If Australia announces a target of anything less than 25 to 40 per cent, it will send a negative signal to the world in the lead up to the crucial Copenhagen negotiations in December 2009, and will make a strong global agreement much more difficult to reach.

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Australia’s response to climate change, and the targets you set over the next 12 months, will be the defining test of your leadership and future generations will judge our actions.

As Garnaut said, “On a balance of probabilities, the failure of our generation would lead to consequences that would haunt humanity until the end of time.”

A 5 to 15 per cent target would represent a profound failure.

We urge you to stand up to the pressure from the big polluters and adopt a strong emissions reduction target that will keep alive the possibility of a strong international agreement at Copenhagen in 2009.

Yours sincerely,

1. Steve Shalhorn, Executive Director, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

2. Greg Bourne, Executive Director, World Wide Fund for Nature

3. Don Henry, Executive Director, Australian Conservation Foundation

4. Nina Hall, Executive Director (Acting), Climate Action Network Australia

5. Jeff Angel, Executive Director, Total Environment Centre

6. Simon Sheikh, National Director, GetUp!

7. Virginia Young, The Wilderness Society

8. Cam Walker, Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Australia

9. Cate Faehrmann, Executive Director, Nature Conservation Council of NSW

10. Piers Verstegen, Director, Conservation Council of Western Australia

11. Toby Hutcheon, Executive Director, Queensland Conservation Council

12. Julie Pettett, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Council of South Australia

13. Kelly O'Shanessy, Executive Director, Environment Victoria

14. Dr Elaine K. Harding, Coordinator, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre

15. Emma King, Coordinator (Acting), Environment Centre of the NT

16. Andrew Cox, Executive Officer, National Parks Association of NSW

17. Margaret Steadman, Executive Officer, Tasmanian Environment Centre Inc

18. Sue Mathews, Trustee, The Mullum Trust

19. Phil Glendenning, Director, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education

20. Mary Tinney, Coordinator, Sisters of Mercy Earth Link

21. Sr Geraldine Kearney, Delegate for Social Responsibility, Sisters of the Good Samaritan

22. Jill Finnane, Coordinator, Pacific Calling Partnership

23. Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

24. Keely Boom, Director, Australian Climate Justice Project

25. Teresa Capetola, Climate Change and public health research cluster, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University

26. Julien Lacave, Projects Manager, Australia and New Zealand Solar Energy Society

27. Paul Murfitt, Chief Executive Officer, Moreland Energy Foundation Limited

28. Tessa Dowdell, Climate Convenor, Australian Student Environment Network

29. Janet Cavenagh, Clarence Branch of Climate Change Australia

30. Jacquie Svenson, Convenor, Climate Action Coogee

31. Lizette Salmon, WATCH, Wodonga & Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)

32. Annie Nielsen, Executive Member, Parramatta Climate Action Network

33. Bev Smiles, Central West Environment Council

34. Bob Phillips, President, Lake Macquarie Climate Action

35. Bradley Smith, University if Queensland Climate for Change

36. Jim Morrison, President, North Coast Environment Council

37. Carmel Flint, Co-ordinator, North East Forest Alliance

38. Carolyn Ingvarson, Convenor, Lighter Footprints Climate Change Action Group

39. Robin Knox, Project Manager, COOLmob

40. Dr Gabe Lomas, Association for Berowra Creek

41. Geoff Walker, Save Happy Valley Coalition Aotearoa

42. Janet Klein, Secretary, Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group

43. Tony Gleeson, Alstonville High School Community Sustainability Advisory Committee

44. Vanessa Morris, Executive Officer, SEE-Change

45. Shakti Burke, Kyogle Climate Action Network

46. Sheila Monahan, Convenor, South East Region Conservation Alliance

47. Sue Fielder, Ballina Climate Action Network

48. Tony Gleeson, Broadwater Community Dunecare

49. Sue Lewis, President, Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle.

50. Ben Henley and Vicki Brooke, Co-Convenors, Climate Action Newcastle

51. Erland Howden, Hills Against Global Warming

52. Roger Pye, President, Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre

53. Dr Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW

54. Dr Stewart Martin, Chair, South Australian Branch of the Australia and New Zealand Solar Energy Society (ANZSES))


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