Performer and long-standing Global Citizen Ambassador Hugh Jackman has called on Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to attend COP26, a global climate change summit, with the Australian ethos of a "fair go for all" front of mind, explicitly requesting Morrison "compromise and listen" in the face of climate catastrophe.

In the video posted on Jackman’s social media accounts on Monday, the Wolverine actor says the “stakes could not be higher.”

“The consequences of this meeting will affect the future of our planet,” Jackman posted. “I speak today as a citizen of the world, but also as an Australian citizen. Our Prime Minister and his team are there. I'm relieved that they finally agreed to go, and I’m relieved that they have committed Australia to a net-zero emissions target by 2050, but it feels like that's the bare minimum.”

In October, Australia finally pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, after years of reluctance. 

The new policy, however, fails to set bold, new targets for the next decade, which is critical if the world is to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The plan, which has not been set in law and depends heavily on the advancement of low emissions technologies, also maintains a firm reliance on dangerous fossil fuels. 

In his address at COP26, Morrison said the “Australian way” to address climate change is to bet on the success of specialists.

“The challenge of combating climate change will be met by those who frankly are largely not in this room,” he said. “It will be our scientists, our technologists, or engineers, our entrepreneurs, our industrialists and our financiers that will actually chart the path to net-zero. It is up to us as leaders of governments to back them in.” 

In the first days of the almost two-week-long summit, over 100 countries signed a “game-changing commitment” — spearheaded by the United States and European Union — to reduce harmful methane emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels.

Australia, alongside Russia, Iran, India and China, refused to join the global push. 

Australia did, however, sign onto a pledge to end deforestation by 2030.

The consequences of a warming, changing global climate are already felt across the world.

Severe droughts, storms, rising sea levels, floods and heatwaves, however, disproportionately threaten the globe's most vulnerable people, impacting access for individuals and entire communities to housing, food, healthcare and decent livelihoods. 

Those in poverty contribute the least to global warming yet will undoubtedly bear the brunt of the crisis. 

To counteract this impact, Jackman finished his video by calling for global cooperation.

“We need to come together; we need Team Planet Earth,” he said.


Defend the Planet

Hugh Jackman Makes Passionate Plea for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Step Up at COP26

By Madeleine Keck