3 November 2023

Former ambassador Gregory Andrews goes on climate action hunger strike in front of parliament

| James Day
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Gregory Andrews holding a sign stating 'Day 1 Climate Hunger Strike' while standing in front of Parliament house.

Gregory Andrews began his hunger strike yesterday. Photo: Gregory Andrews.

“Join me in calling for a safe future,” said former ambassador Gregory Andrews as he asked the public to sign his petition before starting his hunger strike for climate action out the front of Parliament House yesterday (2 November).

Mr Andrews will sit outside the building every day until Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Australian Government commit to his demands.

“Many thousands of Australians share my concerns about climate collapse but the government is, at best, treating climate change as a future emergency. This is why I’ve made the resolute decision to undertake a #ClimateHungerStrike. I will abstain from consuming anything except water.

“People close to me know of my determination and willingness to make personal sacrifices in the name of justice. I am unwavering in my commitment. I will continue this hunger strike until the government takes the action that Australians and all of humanity deserve.”

The D’harawal man was prompted to action by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek’s decision to allow a coal mine to open in central Queensland earlier this year.

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His environmental concerns have been evident throughout his work for years, especially in his tenure as Australia’s first threatened species commissioner when he led the development of this country’s first threatened species strategy. Mr Andrews also worked as an ambassador to West Africa and represented Australia at the United Nations climate change negotiations from 2010 to 2013 as the deputy chief negotiator.

Now working as a consultant and Adjunct Associate Professor with the University of Canberra’s Institute for Applied Ecology, the former ambassador has decided to put his life on hold with the hope that the government will accept his five demands.

In Mr Andrew’s letter to the Prime Minister, he calls on the country’s leader to “announce a climate emergency; stop subsidising fossil fuels and redirect these resources to climate action and adaptation; commit to an urgent phase out of Australia’s massive coal and gas exports; end native forests logging; update Australia’s key environment protection law, the EPBC Act, to include climate impacts; and immediately release key details of the Climate Risk Assessment which outlines the national security risks we face”.

In September, he sent a letter to the Prime Minister regarding his beliefs on the “immediate necessity of climate action”, but he says he received “a standard reply with cut-and-pasted talking points”.

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Mr Andrews’ family will be supporting him throughout the strike, which he expects to go on indefinitely until the Prime Minister acknowledges and accepts his petition for movement on his requests.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek were also contacted by letter, yet the only response was from a spokesperson of the Department of Climate Change and the Environment. Within the response was a summary of the government’s plans to decarbonise the economy, protect forests and deliver on their 2050 net zero emission targets.

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Cameron Hesketh4:16 pm 09 Nov 23

Our former chief scientist Alan Finkel answered an important question a few years back, the ? was, what would happen to global temps if Australia overnight shuts down its whole coal and gas export industries, shuts it down completely. The answer was virtually nothing, no effect on global temps whatsoever, about 0.000000001% change on a downward trajectory, that does actually mean zero%.

Clothes made in China, as is the blackboard and chalk/sharpie pen that did the text. Glasses probably the same. These items made in large factories, shipped all of the world. Unless the bloke strips naked, he’s a hypocrite, having a tanty to get clicks on social media

Redbies Gore12:39 pm 04 Nov 23

I presume you were breathing air when you wrote that comment? Air provided by the environment. I presume all our fossil fuel billionaires are breathing air while they make their money destroying the environment. Unless you all stop breathing while criticising environmentalists and destroying the planet then you’re hypocrites having a tanty on social media.

Martin Keast1:48 pm 04 Nov 23

good points 🙂

Redbies Gore – I’m not protesting

William Newby10:08 pm 03 Nov 23

For all its diversity spin DFAT sure knows how to pick ‘em.

Good on him!!

Another Bobby Sands.

GrumpyGrandpa4:08 pm 03 Nov 23

I’m yet to meet a hunger striker that acheived their goal and changed the fate of the world; even most dieters fail.

Of course. You likely never met Mohandas K. Ghandi.

Stephen Ellis3:43 pm 03 Nov 23

I guarantee the planet will outlast not only his hunger strike, but many future generations who wish to participate in this madness. While he claims thousands share his concerns, millions more rely on the coal and gas that has given us an extended life expectancy and creature comforts that have enabled us to rise above those less fortunate living in third world countries. Reliable, and cheap, power is crucial to our survival. Climate catastrophe has become a religion, yet none of these fanatics can explain how our efforts to destroy our economy and lifestyle will change the weather. Nor can they explain how it is that this particular inter-glacial period is not as warm as the four previous periods or how it is that food production is at a peak world-wide and life expectancy is continuing to improve. The earth has survived, and thrived, at much warmer temperatures than we currently experience, just as it’s survived much colder conditions.

Well said Stephen. Couldn’t agree more.

Redbies Gore1:15 pm 04 Nov 23

Fossil fuels don’t provide us with the air we breathe. It takes a special kind of ignorance to think the environment is subservient to the economy. Our modern standard of living is due to science and innovation, not fossil fuels. We don’t still use 19th century medicine or 19th century plumbing, it’s time to also phase out fossil fuelled 19th century power generation.

You are factually incorrect regarding inter-glacial periods being warmer than today’s. See https://skepticalscience.com/humans-survived-past-climate-changes.html

Agree that life on earth will survive. Modern human society will likely not survive.

Capital Retro3:02 pm 07 Nov 23

The carpetbaggers who invented global warming (or whatever it is now known as now) will certainly survive.

Democracy called, said form a party, prepare some policies, nominate for election, try to get elected.

If the climate is about to collapse society, why isn’t he out there learning how to farm and start society again? Starting a culture based on absolutely no economic progress?

Instead hes protesting in a very visited area where police and others can easily find and assist him if anything medical happens and he’ll be rushed to our coal powered hospital.

You need to thoroughly check out the background of this guy. It is very interesting.

Why, Lateline didnt?

Capital Retro1:05 pm 03 Nov 23

“Many thousands of Australians share my concerns about climate collapse…….”

Millions more don’t give a s…t.

We had a couple of hot days in September and it was doom gloom as thousands of chicken little useful idiots proclaimed the end of the world. Cold today – jacket wearing weather. Where are those useful idiots? Oh, and think of the bed space this zero will take up in the woefully run ACT hospitals, if he goes to the full extent of a hunger strike

Martin Keast1:50 pm 04 Nov 23

Yet our leaders, in the name of the people, plunge us into massive debt, ruin our skylines, clutter of coastlines with wind turbine factories and cover prime land with solar panels and transmissions lines. All to cause our power to get more expensive and less reliable. Democracy leftist style.

Might take a few hamburgers down and eat lunch nearby on the weekend.

Mr Lonsdale Parade11:17 am 03 Nov 23

In other news, I sent the PM a letter demanding a new car, I didn’t get a personal response (or the car) so I’m going to go on hunger strike, maybe someone should tell me (as I told my 3 year old when they threw a tantrum) you don’t always get what you demand.. even if you throw a tantie.

In order for the PM to read your letter, he has to be In Australia, not on another global jaunt

Good luck to him. I am sure it will be just as effective as every other hunger strike ever attempted in this country.

China is the world’s largest fossil fuel CO2 emitter. So he ought to emaciate himself in the Red Square. Nevertheless, I hope he advocates for nuclear power, as it would be the only viable solution to the problem he sees.

Vinson1Bernie1:14 pm 04 Nov 23

Tianemen Square (spelling) as Red Square was in Moscow I think but due to hunger and lack of coffee too lazy to check. Australias emission share dropping every year and hasnt quite tanked the economy yet but low hanging fruit for reduction has gone and so getting harder so fear the economy will cop it in the neck (eg % of solar powered homes, best wind turbine sites, best solar farm sites and this before we spend $$bns on new transmission wires).

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