As a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Australia and increased social-distancing measures that are being put in place at the Federal and State Government level, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) has made the decision to hold a series of virtual events, in place of the physical events that were being planned as part of the national summit series on bushfires and climate change.
Climate change, driven mainly by the burning of coal, oil and gas, is worsening extreme weather events, including hot days, heatwaves, heavy rainfall, coastal flooding and catastrophic bushfire weather. Australia has just experienced a summer of record-breaking heat, prolonged heatwaves, and devastating fires and floods. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind: climate change is dangerous and it is affecting all of us now.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we must still continue to tackle climate change. Many Australians are still feeling the impacts of the devastating bushfire season that was fuelled by our changing climate and we still believe it is critical to bring together a diversity of stakeholders virtually, to focus on how climate change is worsening the bushfire threat, the impacts on Australia, and to come up with solutions.
In place of the physical events which were planned as part of the national summit series on bushfires and climate change, Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) will now hold a series of virtual events. The 2020 National Bushfire and Climate Summit is Australia’s first virtual bushfire and climate change summit, bringing together representatives from fire and emergency services, the military and home affairs, industry, economists, farmers, the health sector, veterinarians, scientists and local governments.
We will take the knowledge and networks shared at our digital events and put them before Australia’s decision-makers, as we brace for the next bushfire season. We also plan to bring these networks together again in 2021 for a physical summit, once authorities have confirmed it is appropriate to do so.
Thank you for your support so far. Please stay tuned for more updates on our virtual Summit and how you can get involved.