Environment

Leesa Markussen

National Environment Officer

environment@nus.asn.au

 

The Sydney bush-fires of late 2013 were a devastating reminder that Climate Change is a serious threat to life as we know it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report, released this year, collates the greatest amount of scientific evidence of the impact of Climate Change so far. Climate Change will lead to increased severity and frequency of climactic events, such as bush-fires, cyclones and droughts.

These events will disproportionately affect the poor. People in the developing world and the disadvantaged in the developed world will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. Greater numbers of refugees, and significant deaths are predicted.

Climate Change illustrates the conflict between the interests of the poor and the interests of mining and energy magnates. We have the technology to achieve zero emissions, but due to entrenched interests of the coal industry change has been limited.

Student Unions, have played a big role in fighting for a sustainable future. Students have an interest in opposing the government's inaction on climate change. Particularly with an Turnbull Government which has made it quite clear that it is in the pockets of the coal industry.

Turnbull has put the environment up for sale to the highest bidder. Approving the construction of the largest coal port in the southern hemisphere in the Great Barrier Reef, allowing companies like GP SUEZ to devastate the environment of the Latrobe Valley and gutting the CSIRO with budget cuts.

This year NUS and students have fought alongside the community against Turnbull's war on the environment.