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As the devastating bushfires continue to burn across Australia, Australian Consulates in Auckland and Wellington are being met by protestors demanding more pressure be put on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
This morning, around two-dozen people in Auckland, including actor Lucy Lawless and prominent climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger, lined up outside the Consulate wearing smoke masks spelling out the words “tell Scott to act on climate”.
From 5pm in Wellington this afternoon, Extinction Rebellion has also organised a march from Parliament to the Consulate there.
The protests are part of a Global Day of Action, co-ordinated by Greenpeace International, that aim to hold the Australian Government to account over its continuation of backwards climate policy and significant dirty energy subsidies, despite fossil fuels driving the climate emergency.
Greenpeace New Zealand mobilisation manager, Abi Smith, says those taking part in the activities are standing in solidarity with Australians living through the fires threatening their homes and livelihoods.
“We’re here today for our friends and family across the ditch in Australia, and those courageous frontline responders, including many volunteers, who are risking their lives to fight these fires with courage, resilience, and dedication,” she says.
“We need politicians to show the same courage. This is a climate emergency, and we’re now paying the price of years of failure by political and business leaders around the world.
“In Australia, at least 29 people have died, and an estimated one billion animals have perished in the fires. This level of devastation really is hard to fathom.
“In the knowledge that burning fossil fuels drives climate change, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is continuing to protect and defend the coal industry – the dirtiest industry on Earth.
“We are calling on Australian governmental representatives in New Zealand to put pressure on Scott Morrison and his Government to stop subsidising fossil fuels and immediately transition to clean energy. In the face of this crisis, leaders must act with humility – they must act for the people.”