First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 7 December 2021
THE Mornington Peninsula is on the front line of the impacts of climate change, a situation not lost on organisers of a climate action open letter to politicians of all persuasions.
The group says the peninsula’s ocean and bay frontages and extensive bushland make it vulnerable to the impacts of extreme weather, such as bushfires over the 2019/20 summer, and severe storms which struck on Friday 29 October.
Letter organiser Amy Gregorovich, a volunteer with Environment Victoria, said: “Our communities have gone through an immensely difficult period with bushfires, the pandemic, and more recently huge storm events.
“This pandemic has taught us that we can’t avoid big global threats. Leaders at all levels need to step up to make deep and urgent cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. This is necessary to ensure we avoid the worst climate impacts whilst supporting communities to adapt and thrive.
“Urgent action is required to support every local community and every industry across Australia to transition to net zero emissions to slash climate pollution this decade.”
In its open letter to the federal government her group of concerned residents, brought together by Environment Victoria as part of a bigger campaign, are asking MPs to “plan for a net zero emission target now”.
“Our community’s mental, physical, and economic well-being depends on our leaders embracing climate action to aid in our post-COVID recovery,” Ms Gregorovich said.
“While Mornington Peninsula Shire has declared a climate emergency, action at the state and federal government level is needed to support and bolster council efforts through state-wide and national plans.”
The group launched the letters around Victoria in mid-November and is asking “concerned residents” to sign them.
“By signing this letter, you will be joining community members, private industry groups and not-for-profit organisations in calling for federal MPs and prospective election candidates to take fast and fair climate action,” Ms Gregorovich said.
Organisations, business, or community groups wanting to sign the open letter can get in touch at email@example.com