Canberrans rally for climate action

Sydney climate rally, June 5. About 10,000 attended the Sydney rally. Up to 5000 protested in Canberra.

About 5000 people walked across Commonwealth Bridge and rallied in front of Parliament House on June 5, calling for real action on climate change now.

Speakers included former Liberals Leader John Hewson, Richard Dennis from the Australia Institute, 2010 Greens Senate candidate Lin Hatfield Dodds and Bishop Pat Power.

Hewson said we needed to respond to climate change with a greater sense of urgency and in a way that recognised the magnitude of the problem.

He called for at least a 40% cut in emissions by 2020, and at least 90% by 2050, and for leadership to take on vested interests.

Dennis said we needed a high carbon price, and added that we should not be talking about giving money back to the biggest polluters. He also stressed the need to invest in new technologies.

Hatfield Dodds said we needed to act now, or preferably 20 years ago, and that our response to climate change will tell future generations what we thought was more important — people or profit.

She also stressed that disadvantaged and vulnerable people would be most affected by climate change, and said welfare payments needed to increase to compensate for energy costs, which are already increasing.