30 April 2020

A Different Approach Community Pty. Ltd.
ADAC – Climate Action in Australia

PO Box 1906, Geelong, 3220, Victoria
Website:  https://adacaust.com.au

Senator the Hon S. J. Birmingham
Minister for Trade
Tourism and Investment
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
107 Sir Donald Bradman Drive
Hilton SA 5033

30th April 2020

Dear Senator the Hon S. J. Birmingham

Re : Climate Change Action

As a group focussed on the need for action regarding climate change, we are disappointed that Zali Steggall’s Bill about bipartisanship on the issue has been postponed. However, we appreciate the extraordinary circumstances that exist and the huge demands on the government because of COVID-19. We have been impressed by the way parliamentarians from both sides of the house, and the crossbench, have supported urgent bills to ease the burden on Australians.

COVID-19 is a massive threat to human health, to our economy and our way of life. There are lessons all countries need to learn from the current situation. Too often, the policies of countries, and of large corporations such as Virgin, have been based on short term goals assuming that the future will be continuous with the present and that if unforeseen events occur, there will be time to react appropriately. It is now clear in retrospect that the warnings of scientists and people like Bill Gates about the near certainty of a pandemic, should have been heeded. Had they been heard, and preparatory action taken, the world would have been far better prepared for this catastrophe.

The Commission for the Human Future is warning us that the human induced risks of catastrophic events have increased dramatically since the mid twentieth century. Scientists have been warning us about the effects of climate change for decades. However, climate change is not an isolated issue. It is interconnected with population growth, food security and the availability of fresh water. It has the potential to increase international tensions dramatically.

The Australian government has handled the COVID-19 crisis well. It has had the advantage of being an island continent. However, in other scenarios, unless forward planning occurs, this isolation could become a disadvantage because of the nation’s weak manufacturing base and its consequent reliance on other countries for vital supplies and for fuel.

We are glad the government is working towards reducing carbon emissions. It has been interesting to read the outlines of current policies with respect to clean energy, especially the Snowy 2.0 Project and the electric vehicle strategy. These represent a positive approach.

Let us hope for a growing realisation that healthy economies depend ultimately on healthy humans and a healthy planetary environment. Only positive action and long term bipartisan planning will allow us to enjoy quality living on the planet. We must continue to learn from the experience, efforts and successes in dealing with COVID-19.

From all at ADAC

Robert Patterson