As one of the countries most affected by the impacts of climate change and with the most opportunities to harness the benefits of a clean energy future, Australia has the ability to become an energy superpower and global leader on renewables.

Our government is currently preparing for a fossil gas-led recovery. This would be a disaster for both our environment, and our economy. We need to let them know that there are better ways to build back, better ways to put people first and to reduce emissions for the long-term – giving us a healthier future.

“My name is Emma, I live in Stonnington, Melbourne. I work in healthcare and when not in lockdown I love getting out of the city to go hiking, camping or to the beach. I care greatly for my fellow Victorians and our natural environment.

Photo of Emma, healthcare worker and member of Break Free Stonnington

This year I’ve witnessed what I care about being threatened and destroyed, first by the summer’s bushfires, and currently due to COVID-19 pandemic. Working within the health service’s COVID-19 pandemic response has shown me firsthand the devastating effects of a public health crisis on individuals and communities. I work with highly vulnerable patients with cancer, complex disabilities and the elderly and it is these same Victorian’s who remain highly vulnerable to the health impacts of client change, including respiratory conditions, heat and mental health impacts.

Climate change has been described as the number one public health crisis of our future and as a health care worker, I feel responsible to take action to protect my patients from this health crisis. This is why I am against the government’s proposed fossil-fuel led COVID-19 recovery. To me it seems like we are moving from one public health crisis to another.

I appreciate that as a country we cannot stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow (wouldn’t that be nice!) but locking in 3 more decades of fossil fuel use does not sound like much of a transition to me. I want to live in a country with clean air, healthy people and as stable a climate as possible – none of this can be achieved with the government’s fossil fuel led COVID recovery plan.

For those thinking that Australia’s contribution to mitigating climate change is not significant, it’s important to consider that as a country we excel in innovation and science. Have you ever thought about the contribution to green technology and energy storage we could make and the impact these innovations would have on other countries’ abilities to reduce emissions? Australia’s impact in tackling climate change could be far greater than reducing our emissions alone but for these innovations to occur we need investment in renewables, not fossil fuels.”

Join me and tell our Federal MPs why we believe funding a fossil gas-led recovery would be a disaster for both our environment, and our economy.

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