In light of the recent catastrophic fires in Australia, Friends of the Earth International, and Center for Environment as its member, have decided to support their colleagues from FoE Australia.
FOE International has 77 member organisations dedicated to protection of the environment, coming from 77 countries from around the world, with over 2 000 000 members.
Due to the size of fires and its aftermath, FoE Australia has sent the following open letter to all the members of FoE International.
A LETTER FROM FRIENDS OF THE EARTH AUSTRALIA
Australia is experiencing an unprecedented fire crisis. 10 million hectares have been burned already. Nearly 2000 homes have been destroyed and many lives lost.
The fires are so immense they have created their own weather systems, sparking more fires by generating their own dry electrical storms. Firefighters have never seen anything like it.
Scientists are now saying many billions of animals are likely to have perished in the fires. Despite huge efforts being made to save thousands of burned and orphaned kangaroos, koalas and other animals, the impact on our biodiversity is likely to be devastating.
And it’s only the start of our bushfire season. After our warmest year on record in Australia, we only expect conditions to worsen as we move into February and March.
We are in a state of anxiety, shock and grief. Many of our staff, volunteers and the communities we work with have lost homes and environments. Many in our networks, including myself, have been taken away from our jobs to take up volunteer firefighter and emergency services roles.
Our role in standing with the community, protecting each other and rebuilding our communities is crucial in times like this.
This is climate change. This fire season is exactly as predicted by scientists. This is what a +1.5 degree world looks like for us.
The amazing thing about being part of an international federation like Friends of the Earth has been the outpouring of messages of support from all around the world. Thank you for those messages. They have helped lift our spirits and made us feel less alone.
Many people have asked how they can help. There are fundraising efforts we support, which can be found here.
But what would really help us is for you to get active in your local campaigns to keep fossil fuels in the ground: to transform our energy systems and to mobilise for the system change we know is the only way we can mitigate more warming and protect communities across the world from disasters like this.
Another way you can help is to support your local campaigns. Center for Environment (FoE Bosnia and Herzegovina) has been running the campaign “Stop prljavoj energiji-jer budućnost je obnovljiva” (Stop dirty energy, the future is renewable), together with Center for Ecology and Energy. You can support their efforts in the struggle for decarbonization of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s energy system. Please contact FoE BiH/Center for Environment, for further information.
What is happening in Australia right now is a warning to the world, a call to action, and we ask you to keep fighting with us for climate justice.
From Cam Walker and all the staff and volunteers at Friends of the Earth Australia