International taskforce to combat Australian and other wildfires

International taskforce to combat Australian and other wildfires

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mark harber started this petition to Boris Johnson and

Australian wildfires started weeks ago and have engulfed and burned (8th of January 2020) over 10 million hectares of forest an area the size of South Korea.  This is difficult to comprehend but to get a feel for the size of the devastation see: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2019/dec/07/how-big-are-the-fires-burning-on-the-east-coast-of-australia-interactive-map

Along with the tragic loss of human life and property there has been the estimated loss of 1 billion animals the loss of vast areas of trees and the release of hundreds millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere .  It is not the end of the fire season and these 'megafires' are not the last, indeed they are predicted to be increasingly common.

It is apparent that despite heroic efforts by fire-fighters, extinguishing fires this big before they cause immense environmental destruction is beyond the ability of most countries.   Tackling climate change will require the cooperation of all nations in a way not previously seen.  An international task force to rapidly tackle potential mega-fires rapidly with international support, finances, expertise and equipment would be the act of wise leaders.  It would also have multiple other benefits including the first steps in real cooperation in the fight against climate change.

The IPCC report October 2018 stated that of the 3 most impactful things we can do is to combat climate change one is to stop deforestation.  Preventing forest fires from growing into hugely destructive mega-fires is therefore a moral imperative and an international responsibility.  The same IPCC report stated that there was hope that we could restrict global warming to a critical maximum of 1.5C but only if the governments of the world took the issue seriously and worked together.  Setting up an international task force would seem like a golden opportunity to demonstrate real leadership on this critical issue.

We urge you and other leaders of the international community to form a task force to help with the fires in Australia and preparation for future fires.

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