Australia's leaders must prepare emergency plans now to restore a safe climate

  • by: Philip Sutton, Save the Planet
  • recipient: Australia’s Prime Minister, State & Territory Premiers, Mayors, MPs and Councillors, & CEOs of environmental & other community groups

It’s time that our leaders took the climate emergency seriously. Some have fallen asleep at the wheel and others are actively blocking effective action. The tiny handful who know that much more is required need more support and encouragement.

We have already entered the era of dangerous climate change and are heading towards the era of catastrophic breakdown.

But even at this late stage, it is still possible to restore a safe climate (with pre-industrial temperatures). We can still avoid over 90% of the anticipated impacts – but only if emergency speed action is taken to create a zero emissions economy and to take the excess CO2 out of the air.

For too long, too many people have been promoting low and slow emissions reduction targets as if this could do the job.

It’s time to get real. To push our leaders out of their rut. To provide leadership ourselves.

We also need to add a new dimension to our climate campaigning. There is no longer enough time available to campaign our way to a safe climate economy using only incremental single issue campaigns – ie. first stopping coal exports, then local coal use, then oil use, then fossil gas exports, then local fossil gas use, then reforming food production, then starting drawdown of CO2. We just don’t have the 100 years needed for this sequential approach to work.

Instead we need to learn from the extraordinary achievements of the WW2 economic mobilisation – that redirected the whole economy in a coordinated effort in a matter of a few years.

That’s why we need to demand that our political and community leaders immediately develop implementation plans for their areas of responsibility to build a safe climate economy at emergency speed in this critical decade.

You can kick-start this new direction by spreading the link to this petition to your friends and family, your work colleagues and other networks you are linked to, and by signing the petition yourself.

If you would like to do more, you can also get involved with Save the Planet, the sponsor of this petition, or other groups in the Transition Decade Alliance.

For more information go to:

A framework for making "Emergency Plans for Restoring a Safe Climate" is available from RSTI at:

or if you want to contact the petition organiser (Philip Sutton - for Save the Planet) email him at:


Dear Leader

The world, and Australia with it, is plunging into a climate catastrophe.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide is at the highest level in 3 million years – as a result of human activity.

Food prices are being pushed up seriously by worsening extreme weather events around the world (floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves, fires) and, at this point, we have only experienced the early stages of dangerous climate change.

Climate change impacts are now on the military security agenda of most of the world’s major powers. Nicholas Stern, climate adviser to the previous UK Government, estimated that the eventual impacts of climate change, under business-as-usual, would be worse than the Second World War and less than a full scale nuclear war. Even current government promises of climate action will not be enough to prevent a temperature rise of 4 degrees, which will have devastating world-war-level impacts.

We must now act strongly and decisively. Australians need you, our political and community leaders, to step up to take the action needed to restore a safe climate (0.8ºC cooler) – at ‘wartime’ speed.

We need to urgently build a zero emissions economy (energy, transport system, agricultural and industrial processes) and draw down the excess carbon dioxide from the air.

We call on you to develop an implementation plan for your area of responsibility to build a safe climate economy at emergency speed in this critical decade.

Each year that we delay inevitably reduces our chances of restoring a safe climate. Delay and weak action is no longer an option.

For more information go to the Save the Planet website:


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