Media Releases

MEDIA STATEMENT: As El Nino declared Australia must accelerate its climate preparations and emissions reductions to keep Australians safe

19 September 2023

Australians have watched on as the Northern Hemisphere has been battered by fossil-fuelled "unnatural" climate disasters over the past three months. Scientists have been shocked by the accelerated warming of global air and sea temperatures and the alarming loss of Antarctic sea ice in recent months.

The Bureau of Meteorology has now officially declared that we are in an El Niño event. This is the first El Niño event for three years and coincides with accelerating global warming, putting Australia at risk of another terrible bushfire season.

At a parliamentary briefing earlier this month former NSW Fire and Rescue Commissioner Greg Mullins, a respected voice on fire preparedness, issued a stark warning, that accelerated global warming together with the El Niño event puts Australia at risk of another terrible bushfire season similar to the horrific Black Summer bush fires in 2019-2020.

Today, Sydney is experiencing its third day straight of unseasonably warm weather and is facing its first total fire ban in three years.

As we witness the beginning of an El Niño event, Australians must brace themselves for the prospect of heightened heatwaves and increased bushfire Australians must prepare for heatwaves and bushfires over the next six months.

We need to ensure that our communities are well-prepared for the upcoming fire season and that we have the resources in place to respond quickly and effectively to any outbreaks.

Global warming is now a global emergency. This should be a rallying call for government to prioritise climate action and resilience-building measures to protect our communities from the impending risks.

The government continues to keep Australians in dark by refusing to release a declassified version of the ONI Climate Risk Assessment.  

They have a duty to accelerate emissions reduction as current commitments suggest global warming will hit at least 2.5 degrees, much higher and catastrophic than the recommended 1.5 degree limit outlined in the Paris Agreement. We must aim for a minimum of 75% emissions reductions by 2035.

Climate preparations to keep Australians safe and secure are urgently needed.