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JOINT STATEMENT: Bushfire Survivors & Friends of the Earth say emissions reductions a litmus test for Royal Commission

Last week, former NSW Fire & Rescue chief Greg Mullins told the ABC that the bushfire Royal Commission will fail if it does not recommend reducing emissions.

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action and Friends of the Earth Australia have added their voice to that position on the eve of the release of the Royal Commission’s final report.


JOINT STATEMENT: 27 October 2020

The groups say that the Royal Commission has accepted the link between climate change and bushfires, and says it is time to accept the implications this has for public policy.

"Communities across Australia have taken the full force of climate-fuelled bushfires over the past couple of years. All of the expert advice is that fires will get even more ferocious and destructive, and more frequent if we don’t reduce emissions urgently." said Jo Dodds, president of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action. 

"There’s no point helping communities recover or rebuilding homes, if we know they’re just going to be hit by worse fires every couple of years. There just aren’t enough resources to deal with fires and their aftermath.”

"We don’t want bandaids and platitudes - we want to fight this monster at the cause - greenhouse gas emissions!"

Friends of the Earth echo this take on how to respond to climate-fuelled bushfires: 

"With climate change driving ever longer and more intense fire seasons, it is clear we need more resourcing to fight fire," said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.

"This means additional air capacity - including a national, publicly owned fleet that doesn't need to lease aircraft on the international market, more volunteer and career firefighters, greater ability to protect our conservation estate, and so on. It also includes changing our approach to land management."

"And, of course, it also means taking immediate and meaningful action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with mainstream climate science."

Bushfire Survivors and Friends of the Earth will be paying close attention to the Royal Commission’s findings and will be tracking Federal, state, and territory responses.

Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action have organised a social media action on Wednesday 28 October to coincide with the release of the Royal Commission’s report. 

Friends of the Earth proposals on fire and firefighting are available here.

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