By Celine Lai
Has your MP signed the pledge to take action on extreme weather?
The Emergency Leaders for Climate Action ( ELCA ) have developed the Community Protection Pledge, a set of 10 commitments that every Federal MP can sign to commit to protecting Australians now, and into the future.
In 2020 ELCA released its “Australian Bushfire and Climate Plan” which is available here.
To date, none of the top 10 recommendations of the “Bushfire Royal Commission” (i.e. the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements) have been implemented, according to ELCA.
The Community Protection Pledge asks MPs to pledge that “I am using my voice to advocate…”
- Addressing the root cause of the climate crisis and worsening extreme weather by accelerating Australia’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions need to plummet this decade, with net zero emissions achieved very soon thereafter. Action should be above politics – all parties should commit to a safer future.
- Urgently implementing all 80 recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, including providing the necessary funding.
- Increasing funding for research into climate change and extreme weather, including new and more detailed climate projections that better inform risk assessments and the impacts of such disasters on human health.
- Investing in communities so they are better prepared when disasters strike and can recover more quickly; recognising that preparedness saves lives and many dollars in avoided disaster recovery costs.
- Enhancing Australia’s capabilities for responding to extreme weather disasters in line with advice from State and Territory agencies. This includes better resourcing and coordination so that responses are swift, coordinated, and stop emergencies from escalating into disasters.
- Improving community engagement, education and support around extreme weather so that individuals are better informed, prepared and empowered to act. This includes investing in adequate warning systems and locally-led initiatives such as community resilience hubs.
- Making rapid and comprehensive recovery from extreme weather events a priority for all levels of government. This requires fast, evidence-based and transparent access to disaster recovery payments for survivors, so help gets to people on the ground quickly.
- Preparing Australian infrastructure, homes and community facilities, for extreme weather events. This includes reforming planning and building standards and appropriate rebates or subsidies for retrofitting to ensure solutions are affordable to all.
- Involving health and family violence experts in disaster planning and response coordination and ensuring adequate access to health services including mental health and family violence services, and access to telehealth for all those affected by disasters.
- Providing adequate funding to support the critical role of Local Governments in disaster preparedness and recovery, so that they have the resources to build resilient communities.
Addressing climate change is the number one priority.
To check if your local MP has signed the pledge, and to email them if they haven’t, please go to the page below.