Demonstrators gathered in central Melbourne yesterday to demand that political leaders act urgently to combat climate change. Wearing red, members of more than 60 environmental groups marched to the Alexandra Gardens, where they formed a 140-metre-long human sign spelling “Climate Emergency”.
Rally speakers included Greens leader Bob Brown, who described climate change as “a disaster which is on our doorstep”. He said Australia needed to reduce its greenhouse emissions by at least 90% by 2050.
Protesters carried placards condemning the dredging of Port Phillip Bay, Victoria’s planned desalination plant and the $9 billion east-west road tunnel proposed by transport expert Rod Eddington.
The demonstration followed Friday’s release of economist Ross Garnaut’s draft report on climate change, which warned that Australia risked losing natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu if it did not act now to combat global warning. The report also recommended that an emissions trading scheme should be operating by 2010.