HANNAH AULBY, MELANIE BARNES Climate Action Hobart

1,200 people rallied in Hobart today showing support for strong government action on climate change. Concerned Tasmanian community members joined with scientists, union members and business representatives as part of a national day of action calling for a safe climate future for all.

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Climate Action Hobart spokespeople Hannah Aulby and Melanie Barnes said the rally was an important reminder to political leaders that climate change is urgent and is affecting the wellbeing of people and ecosystems around the world.

“It is time for the government to listen to the community’s concerns about the future. If policy makers do not commit to drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions now, the consequences will be felt by all far into the future. The UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen this year is an opportunity for Australia to take part in the international climate effort and do our fair share.” Ms Aulby said.

Tasmanians rallied for 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020; 100% renewable energy by 2020; Green collar jobs not job cuts; Protecting Australia’s forests as carbon stores; and Global climate justice. One minutes silence was held for people around the world who have already suffered as a result of a rapidly changing climate.

“Committing to at least 40% emission cuts by 2020 is vital if we are to ensure that our children have a safe and secure climate in the future. Protecting our natural carbon stores and investing in renewable energy will not only create new sustainable jobs but bring about the transition we urgently need to mitigate dangerous climate change,” Ms Barnes said.

Rally participants were invited to send personal messages to the Rudd Government voicing their concerns. Messages were written on red material, which will be joined with material from rallies around the country to create a one kilometre long call for responsible climate action now.