Ahead of its final report, the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements has released a series of Draft Propositions for public comment.
But the Draft Propositions don’t adequately recognise the role of climate change in fuelling worsening bushfires in Australia.
Can you add your name now to our open letter to the Bushfire Royal Commissioners, requesting that action on climate change be one of the central pillars of the recommendations?
Submissions close Wednesday, 16 September. Please add your name before 12:00pm on Wednesday 16 September, to make sure its counted.
Letter from Amanda McKenzie:
Dear Royal Commissioners,
Response to Draft Propositions of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements from the Climate Council and supporters
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Climate Council and our supporters in response to the release of the Draft Propositions by the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements (Bushfire Royal Commission) on 4th September, 2020.
The Climate Council welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback and would like to thank members of this Royal Commission for their tireless work to date. The Climate Council represents over 500,000 supporters, many of whom want to ensure their voices are heard in the Draft Propositions feedback process, which is why we have made this an open letter.
Whilst we are supportive of many of the Draft Propositions put forward, such as the need for better national coordination, improved warning systems and investment in research, we respectfully request that the role of climate change in fuelling the 2019-20 bushfires and the importance of action is a central pillar of the Royal Commission recommendations.
The final report of the Bushfire Royal Commission must clearly acknowledge the role of climate change in fuelling the 2019-20 bushfires.
Irrefutable empirical scientific data, reinforced by observations of veteran firefighters and people on the land, confirm that a warming climate is resulting in worsening and more frequent extreme weather events such as the 2019-20 bushfires. Bushfire conditions are now more dangerous than in the past, and the risk to life, property and the environment has increased. Fire seasons have lengthened across Australia, and the number of days of Very High Fire Danger and above have increased, reducing windows of opportunity for land managers and fire services to conduct hazard reduction burns. Longer fire seasons now overlap with those in the Northern Hemisphere, reducing the ability of fire and emergency services to share resources nationally and internationally during major emergencies.
Extremely hot, dry conditions, underpinned by years of reduced rainfall and severe drought, set the scene for the unprecedented fires and losses during the 2019-20 summer. Failure to rapidly and deeply bring down greenhouse gas emissions is causing grave loss of life and property, severely damaging the economy and decimating the natural environment.