Members of the WA chapter of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) gathered outside the Wesley Uniting Church in the City on Friday 17 December 2021 to sing reworded Christmas carols to highlight the need for stronger climate action.
Geoffrey Bice, President of ARRCC WA said people were keen to get creative with the words of well-known carols as a fun way to make an important point.
“While we may be singing some light-hearted carols today, we hold deep concerns about the lack of action in WA to prevent the worst climate impacts.
“WA has major expansions of the gas industry on the cards, while at the same time the International Energy Agency this year called for no “new fossil fuel supply projects” and the IPCC modelling requires an immediate decline in the use of gas to keep within a 1.5 °C temperature rise.
“How then is it morally responsible to forge ahead with expansions of the gas industry? When will the WA Government draw the line and stop approving new fossil fuel developments?”
The Uniting Church have always held particular concerns about the most vulnerable in the community as well as minimising impacts on the environment.
Susy Thomas, Moderator of the Uniting Church WA said, “How can we justify to our children, to the people of the Pacific, to the vulnerable in our community who will continue to suffer through heatwaves and other weather extremes, that it is morally ok to expand a practice we know is going to cause harm?”
Ann Zubrick, Presiding Clerk of Quakers Australia, said that, “Perth plays host to head offices for some of the biggest polluters in the country. It is disturbing to us and to many Western Australians that, on the back of international climate talks, Woodside have announced their plans to open a huge new gas field.”
The group said they were encouraged by the recent news that the WA Government are soon to set 2030 targets for its own activities, particularly in relation to emissions from the South West Grid. However, the group fears that any gains made in reducing emissions will be simultaneously undermined if approval is also given to open new fossil fuel developments like Woodside’s Scarborough gas proposal.
Ann Zubrick said, “We are here today to show that people of all stripes in our community take the climate crisis really seriously. We are representatives from diverse faith groups and we, along with many Western Australians, want to see our state become a global leader in renewable energy, not a laggard of fossil fuel expansion.
“We have already seen with fires and floods what happens when the science of climate change is not heeded.”
“By contrast, we’ve seen during this pandemic that good outcomes are achieved when scientific advice is followed, but when governments do the wrong thing it’s the poor who are hurt the most.”