Port Lincoln summit demands action on climate crisis

Attendees of a Climate Change Action Summit held during this year's SALT Festival have called on all levels of the Australian government to declare an emergency to address the climate crisis.

The April 26 'We See What You See' summit in Port Lincoln focused on global warming, climate change, emissions reduction schemes, energy sector transformation and other climate crisis topics.

Southern Eyre Arts chairperson Jack Ritchie said participants called on councils, and state and federal governments to act on climate change.

He said declaring a climate emergency would mean policies could be in place within the next three years to address the issue.

"The summit...highlighted local community concern that there is not sufficient response to the most significant crisis humans and the planet have faced," he said.

"There is an urgent need for positive action to restore balance and secure our future."

An October 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned global warming must be kept below 1.5 degrees to avoid further rising sea levels, extreme storms, prolonged droughts and intensified fires.

According to the report Earth has seen a one degree rise in average temperature since pre-industrial times but if that rises to two degrees there are increased risks of drought, loss of marine species and rising sea levels which will affect 10 million more people.

One of the recommendations made to stop the rise in temperature by summit attendees were reforms for a 100 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, as well as a managed transition away from fossil fuels.

Another was for a major conservation effort to be undertaken to increase the resilience of natural ecosystems and biodiversity to protect and restore them, as well as a recommendation to give support to primary producers for more regenerative agriculture.

SALT member and summit organiser Georgina Shirley said it was time to act to address the climate crisis.

"The cost of doing nothing to reverse the effects of climate change far outweighs the cost of acting, and the time to act is definitely now.

"The summit has again proven that the community is ready for change now and we call upon the government to listen and support immediate action."