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Issue #1881      August 14, 2019

Student action on climate change

Rally in Perth August 8

The National Union of Students called for a National Day of Action on Climate Change and in Perth students from a number of campuses including Curtin University, University of WA, and Edith Cowan University responded to the call to protest state and federal government inaction on climate change. The rally commenced in Forrest Place in Perth where three student speakers voiced their concerns on climate change before marching to the offices of gas and petroleum corporation, Chevron Australia. The government, anticipating a robust protest, provided over 40 police, including mounted police for the peaceful rally of 200 mostly young students and fellow activists who had assembled outside the QV1 where Chevron had locked access to the building. The rally also targeted Woodside Energy whose headquarters were nearby and Adani Coal.

Ironically, in the business pages of the West Australian newspaper, appeared an article, “Chevron starts work on greenhouse catch-up”, which was about Chevron’s 10-year delay since the projects commencement in 2009, in building and operating carbon sequestration equipment to pump the carbon from the carbon emissions that came from burning gas to drive the LNG plant.

“Two and a half years after the start up, Chevron is still interpreting the conditions, even though it is known the injecting system will not capture the bulk of Gorgon’s carbon emissions from burning gas at the facility.” Our governments, eager to appease the resource corporations, tread softly as they have an economic model which is held captive by these extractive industries – instead of moving to a more environmentally and economically sustainable model.

The real solution to stop the climate crisis facing the planet, is to reduce carbon emissions by changing to renewables; “System Change – not Climate Change,” called for by the protesting students.

The Communist Party of Australia supports the calls of the rally for stronger action by state and federal governments to act on climate change and promote a more rapid take up of renewable energy. The longer the delay on climate action only increases the risks humanity faces from increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and falling food production. This was highlighted by a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which linked “the rise in global temperatures to food security, through increasing pressures on the availability of fertile soil.”

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