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Monday, 24 May 2021
Page: 4250


Mr WILKIE (Clark) (10:12): I second the bill. Climate change will obviously alter every aspect of life in our country, including our health and wellbeing, public safety and prosperity, because climate directly affects every aspect of our environment, society and economy. There's no question that we're starting to see those impacts already, as the country has been swept by bushfires, unprecedented in their extent and intensity, and battered by record storms, floods and cyclones. No wonder ecosystems are on the verge of collapse and countless species are under threat. Indeed, with a predicted temperature rise of over 4½ degrees in the next 80 years, there will be no 'new normal'. Instead there will only be continually broken records and increasingly unpredictable weather.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise, considering the 1977 internal ExxonMobil report which stated, with remarkable accuracy, that doubling CO2 in the atmosphere will produce a temperature increase of two to three degrees Celsius. In other words, fossil fuel corporations not only knew about climate change decades ago but conducted their own research which showed that burning coal, oil and gas would result in a rapidly heating world. That is why this bill is so important—to hold such brazen and wilful polluters to account, to finally make them pay for the real cost of their doing business. It's also another test for the government and opposition—to support the bill and be a part of the solution or to again look away and remain a part of the problem.

The SPEAKER: The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.