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Speech: A disproportionate punishment for climate activism

I rise to speak to the matter of urgency before us. Just today we have received news that Sergio, a 22-year-old climate activist in New South Wales, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for participating in a non-violent direct action targeting the coal industry. Twelve months in prison—what an outrageously severe and disproportionate punishment! What an appalling message this sends to climate activists and those of us who are fighting for a healthy planet. The real criminals are the fossil fuel companies who are killing our planet, not those who are trying to save it.

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Opening the Scarborough a climate crime: Greens

The Greens have slammed the decision to approve a massive new methane gas project in the weeks following the Glasgow climate pact, calling the Liberal & Labor-approved Scarborough project a slap in the face to climate scientists.

Scarborough is the most polluting project currently proposed in Australia. Driven by the WA Labor government, the gas field threatens to release 1.6bn tonnes of carbon emissions - equivalent to 15 coal-fired power stations. 

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Greens back jailed protester

Greens Leader Adam Bandt has said a 12-month prison sentence for a young climate activist engaging in peaceful civil disobedience was harsh and excessive, as he called for greater legal protection for peaceful activists and urged people to join protests against the sentence.

The 22-year-old man was convicted and sentenced for direct action stopping a coal train at the world’s biggest coal port in Newcastle.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:

“Our country shouldn’t be jailing peaceful activists fighting to defend human life. 

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Heat on Labor and Liberal as 1.5 alive but coal & gas on death row

The Greens have said the next election will be a climate fight with the heat now on Liberal and Labor, after the Glasgow Climate Pact put coal & gas on death row and committed countries to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, which will mean Australia taking to next year’s summit 2030 targets of 75% emissions cuts.

However, within hours of signing up to the Glasgow Climate Pact, Angus Taylor has ruled out setting new 2030 targets prior to COP27 in November 2022, which the Pact explicitly requests and urges Australia to do. 

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Glasgow sabotaged by Scott Morrison

With the final Glasgow pact resolving that coal and gas were on the way out but the world was not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees because 2030 pledges were too weak, the summit will be remembered as one that ScoMo helped sabotage.

But it will also heap pressure on Liberal and Labor next year to lift 2030 targets, and phase out coal and gas. 

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:

“Glasgow was the summit ScoMo helped sabotage, but he doesn’t get off scot free.

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Morrison's ‘not zero’ modelling a sham

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader, Adam Bandt MP, on the government’s ‘net zero modelling’:

"This is a plan for ‘not zero’. 

"The Prime Minister’s promise not to lie lasted less than 24 hours.

"This is a piece of fiction trying to cover up inaction.

"Scott Morrison’s climate ambition is so low that he doesn’t even hit net zero in his net zero ‘plan’.

"This is a recipe for climate collapse in Australia, with more extreme droughts, floods and fires.

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Morrison sabotaging Glasgow success

Far from being a small player with minimal impact on global climate action, Australia under Scott Morrison is actively blocking plans for an accelerated phase out of coal and gas, joining Saudi Arabia and Russia in sabotaging a meaningful outcome at Glasgow climate summit, Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP, said.

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Australia must not sabotage Glasgow climate consensus: Greens

As the Glasgow climate summit comes to a head and the Liberals’ weak 2030 targets place Australia under increasing pressure, Scott Morrison is again readying Australia to sabotage a global climate consensus by blocking political momentum for a ‘ratcheting up’ of 2030 targets.

With Australia failing to raise ambition for 2030, the draft communique from COP26 is planning to specifically call upon nations who have insufficient mid-term targets to return next year to COP27 in Egypt with increased ambition consistent with the science.

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