More than 400,000 people have signed a petition calling on the federal government to declare a national climate emergency.
The petition was presented to the House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon by Independent Warringah MP Zali Stegall.
She said the petition speaks for many young people who want immediate action on climate change.
“This is a sign of the next generation of voters who want real climate change action. Noah Bell is 23 years old and he’s speaking for young people around the country,” she said on the Sydney man who created the petition.
“It’s the largest e-petition response in the history of the House of Representatives and there’s no doubt there will be more. It’s time the government acknowledges that.”
“Each of those names is an individual with a story, a voice, a network and a vote,” Steggall told reporters.
“We have a duty to the Australian people that goes beyond partisan allegiance. It is time for us all to be accountable; let’s listen to the people and take meaningful action on climate change.
The petition calls for immediate action to minimise destruction as a result of climate change. Those presenting the petition hope at least some Liberal MPs will come on board.
“We are a few short years away from reaching the tipping point, so for all of those Liberal MPs who went to elections and said they accepted the science on climate change, well, now is their chance to prove it,” Greens MP Adam Bandt told reporters in Canberra.
“There are a number of MPs that I’ve spoken to and I suspect other members of the crossbench have spoken to Liberal MPs as well, who are very frustrated at having to go to their electorates, including drought-affected areas, and explain to farmers who are suffering through record drought, why the government wants to burn more coal.”