Pacific Island climate campaigner tells COP28 protest: ‘Phase out, not phase down’

December 4, 2023
Aisake Nasedra addressing the climate protest. Photo: Peter Boyle

Several hundred demonstrators rallied in Belmore Park, and marched to Town Hall calling on the federal government to act on the climate on December 2.

The protest called for 100% renewables by 2030, a just transition for fossil fuel workers, First Nations-led solutions and real carbon cuts, not offsets.

“Act on the climate emergency: No new fossil fuels” was timed to coincide with the COP28 conference in Dubai and was organised by the Sydney Climate Coalition (SCC).

“For the Pacific, 1.5°C global warming is not a threshold, but a limit,” Fijian-Australian activist Aisake Nasedra told the rally. “In Australia, we cannot afford to have any more coal mines. Our demand is not phase down, but phase out!”

Nic Clyde, NSW coordinator for Lock the Gate Alliance called on the government not to “pour fuel on the fire” adding that there are now between 8 and 13 new coal projects in the pipeline in NSW. “The first will be decided on before Christmas — and this is a major test for the new NSW Labor government.”

Arthur Rorris, South Coast Labor Council Secretary said the struggle for a “renewables future” in the Illawarra is continuing, with plans for new green jobs.



Arthur Rorris. Photo: Peter Boyle

“Port Kembla, the home of steel-making in Australia, is facing an end. We need a new ‘green steel’ industry, produced from green hydrogen, not coal. We also face a right-wing campaign against offshore wind. Our community is only now getting organised to confront this challenge.

“We are confident the Illawarra will come out with a carbon-free future,” Rorris said, adding that he hoped everyone would support a new project to be launched in the new year.

Deen Kafina, from School Students 4 Climate, said: “Palestine will keep fighting, and never give up. Keep attending the rallies and continue the struggle for colonial liberation.

“And support the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign. We need to make Israel a bad investment for the billionaires around the world. Free, free Palestine!"

Rally chairs Caitlin Doyle-Markwick and Harpreet Kaur asked people to join the SCC to strengthen the climate movement.


Sitting down for the climate. Photo: Peter Boyle

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