To The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese
Leader of the Opposition, Peter Dutton MP.
We the undersigned demand you take immediate action to reverse the impacts of climate change by funding an Australian rainforest restoration program.
Australia has experienced back-to-back unnatural disasters, just as climate scientists have predicted for decades.
The prolonged drought and the unprecedented bushfires of 2019-20 were followed by extreme rainfall events and floods across the entire east coast.
We are seeing firsthand the impact of this country’s inaction on climate change.
People are reeling and they want action. They don’t just want action to recover their homes and livelihoods, they want action to ensure these extreme weather events don’t continue for generations to come.
This is a climate emergency. We must quit our addiction to coal and gas.
In this climate emergency we must do everything we can to avoid the occurrence of more extreme unnatural disasters.
While we must stop burning fossil fuels as a matter of urgency, we also know that the loss of rainforests, around the globe has been a major contributor to climate change.
Restoring our rainforest to draw down carbon is an essential action.
Restoring what remains of Australia’s rainforests is an essential action to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Rainforests store massive amounts of carbon so when they are destroyed, cut down, burnt, or degraded, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The reverse occurs when rainforests are restored.
Not only do rainforests help to regulate the planet’s temperature and regional rainfall patterns, they also absorb massive amounts of solar radiation and prevent both floods and droughts.
We cannot stop climate change without protecting our rainforests and we must restore what we’ve lost.
That’s why we’re calling on the Australian Government to urgently invest in the restoration of Australia’s rainforest ecosystems.
In 1989 Prime Minister Bob Hawke committed to planting one billion trees as the country buckled under the weight of severe land degradation, salinity and erosion. That announcement catalysed the Decade of Landcare and the formation of hundreds of grassroots groups working together to reverse the impacts of poor land management.
We must do the same, but with a focus on restoring those ecosystems which can help us reverse the impacts of climate change. We must establish millions of trees across Australia’s degraded rainforest ecosystems to fortify the country against the unfolding climate disaster.
Doing so will not just benefit the climate. Restoring rainforests will also:
- Create jobs, many of them for First Nations people
- Provide habitat for threatened plants and animals
- Restore degraded creek and river banks
- Reduce erosion and runoff from flooding events
- Improve water quality in catchments
We’re calling on the Australian Government to urgently establish a $1 billion rainforest restoration fund to address the climate crisis by restoring Australia's rainforests and working with Australian rainforest restoration organisations and community groups to ensure this work benefits everyone.