Animals Australia position statement on climate change

LAST UPDATED: 28 November 2019

Animals Australia recognises that climate change is caused by humans. We acknowledge that global warming and its devastating effects on the environment represent an existential threat to species, including our own.

We are not experts but respect the scientific consensus1 in terms of both analysis and the solutions required to mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming.

Climate change has seen an increase in animals becoming extinct2, including the first mammalian extinction3 due to global warming: the Bramble Cay melomys (a native rat) in Australia. It is already having a significant effect on non-human animals which will only increase as global warming rises. Therefore, mitigating the effects of climate change is crucial to animals all around the world.

Additionally, the animal agriculture industry is a major emitter4 of greenhouse gases. Therefore, any solution to climate change must incorporate a transition to less resource-intensive diets like those of low or no meat5. Animals Australia supports fair and equitable transitional assistance to protect affected landholders, workers and communities.

We acknowledge and respect the wisdom and leadership of First Nations people who have a unique connection to the land and a rich history of defending it from extractive industries. We believe First Nations people should be central to any plan to protect our environment.

To effectively protect our planet from further harm we need to radically shift our thinking and reshape our society. This is an opportunity to put the values of care, empathy, and protection of the vulnerable — whether our own species, our fellow species, or the environment in which we live — at the centre of a new, sustainable way of life. In the animal protection movement, our advocacy has always been guided by these principles. Therefore, not only do our foundational values align with those of the climate movement, but both movements have much to learn from one another.

Together, we can forge a world where our environment and all its inhabitants, human and non-human alike, will be treated with dignity, respect, fairness, and compassion.

[1] NASA: Scientific Consensus: Earth's Climate is Warming

[2] ScienceMag: Accelerating extinction risk from climate change

[3] National Geographic: First mammal species recognized as extinct due to climate change and Department of the Environment and Energy: Melomys rubicola — Bramble Cay Melomys

[4] Oxford University Press: Livestock and climate change: impact of livestock on climate and mitigation strategies and FAO: Tackling Climate Change through Livestock

[5] IPCC: Global Warming of 1.5 degrees

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