COP 27 protest: A chance to stand beside First Nations and student climate activists

In writing this story, Federation would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people, on whose lands this article was largely written and on whose lands the COP 27 protest will take place.

Federation wishes to pay respect to the Gomeroi Nation and their elders past and present who are custodians of the Pilliga and surrounds, and share knowledge on how to care for this country. Thank you to the Gomeroi people who welcomed our members to the Pilliga in order to educate us and empower us to walk alongside them in their fight to protect these lands and waters.

Federation has accepted an invitation from School Strike 4 Climate Australia to support and encourage members’ attendance at the Sydney Town Hall rally COP 27 Protest Stop Australia expanding fossil fuels, climate justice now on Saturday 12 November at noon.

The rally will coincide with the COP27 Global Climate Summit in Egypt, which started on 6 November and will continue until November 18.

The summit kicked off as a new UN report was published indicating that the past eight years were the hottest ever, and that record high greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are driving sea level and ice melting to new highs and supercharging extreme weather from Pakistan to Puerto Rico”.

As many Federation members know too well, NSW has also witnessed firsthand the results of decades of government inaction on the climate emergency.

School Strike 4 Climate says that while the Albanese Government has increased the country’s emissions reduction target to 43 per cent by 2030, it is still far below that needed to keep global warming to safe levels.

School Strike 4 Climate is also using the opportunity to rally against the expansion of coal and gas projects across the country, including the Narrabri Pilliga gas project in NSW.

On 5 November, Federation joined the Pilliga Union Delegation as part of our commitment to reject the ‘Gas-Fired Recovery’, dispossession of Gomeroi People and destruction of the Pilliga. For members able to travel to Sydney Town Hall this Saturday, speakers from Gomeroi Nation will share their knowledge with us on Gadigal Land.

Federation’s opposition to the Santos project has been consistent, as this project threatens an area of cultural significance to Gomeroi Nation, the environment and the health and wellbeing of teachers, students and community (See Union sides with people and the planet over profits).

This commitment was restated when a motion was passed unanimously at Federation’s Annual Conference held in July:

“Both pre and post-election, Labor has refused to commit to phasing out coal and gas nor to banning the construction of new coal and gas projects.

“In November 2022, all parties to the Paris Agreement will meet again at Conference of the Parties 27 in Egypt where Australia must put forward a revised plan of action that reflects the urgency of response required as laid out in successive reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”

If you are keen to attend the rally, look for the Teachers for Climate Action banner and Federation flags!

Want to follow COP27 progress over the next two weeks?

We recommend: Cop27 | Environment | The Guardian

And on Twitter: @climatecouncil @simoncbradshaw @cop27P @unfccc