With less than a fortnight till the State Election, this episode we're back in Friends of the Earth Collingwood, planning the Head in the Sand action, but also getting a great history of Act on Climate, and why we do actions. This a great on-ramp for new listeners to the miniseries, after Kate's interview last week. Enjoy!
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This week, we don't have the usual recording of the collective meeting. Because last week that meeting was on-site down in St Kilda before the Albert Park candidates forum, we decided to bring you an interview with Act in Climate's own Kate Wattchow instead.
With less than a month to go before the election, a lot of work ahead and also a lot of effort already behind us, we wanted to take a moment to shine a light on what drives at least one member of AoC to do all that work. This is a great chat with Kate, and we hope you enjoy it.
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Community members are getting organised and making sure political candidates are engaging with the challenge of climate change in the lead up to the Victorian state election. Melissa Abel, a community climate champion from Bendigo, reports on a recent candidates forum in her region:
In the lead up to the state election at the end of next month, our Australian Conservation Foundation community group in Bendigo have been running a series of “Politics in the Pub” events with our local politicians and candidates, focusing on one party at a time. Bendigo is covered by two state electorates – Bendigo East and Bendigo West, and so we've at times had candidates from both. So far we've had Labor, the Greens and the Liberals.
We are yet to lock in a date with the Nationals, but they – perhaps surprisingly, given the topic of climate change – appear keen so far. As a side note, I asked our Nationals candidate at a different forum why they want to scrap Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) and was told that they don't want to see a “piecemeal, state-by-state” approach to energy policy. Call me cycnical, but to me that looks like an attempt to tear down the states that are actually attempting to do something about climate change...
With a few new people joining the campaign, Leigh takes the chance to give an overview of the goals of the campaign. Great short listen this week.
Originally published at RenewEconomy.
Victoria will go to the polls in a month and the Liberal National Party opposition, led by Matthew Guy, has failed to release a comprehensive climate change policy.
Pressure is mounting on Matthew Guy to show he takes climate change seriously.
Activists in detective costumes have staged actions to search for Matthew Guy’s missing climate policy. In the blue-ribbon seats of Hawthorn and Kew, the Lighter Footprints community group is organising a town hall meeting (featuring Oliver Yates) on the need for climate action.
And then there’s the Wentworth by-election result where the Liberal party suffered a record swing against it.
While Wentworth voters were clearly upset at the Federal Coalition’s leadership turmoil and had a strong independent candidate to vote for, exit polling commissioned by the Australia Institute found that the Liberal party’s primary vote collapsed as a result of inaction on climate change and support for coal.
The same dynamic could play out in Victoria. The opposition’s failure to engage with climate change leaves it exposed.
After an absolutely full-on week for the Act On Climate team, we kick back and talk about the week's events in a more laid-back style. Halfway through the series, and the election run-up, and the nature of the campaign is starting to change. We wrap up the big events and actions AoC had planned, and executed, and note that the action now pivots to a more nimble, reactive role. Stay tuned for a lot of updates, but now, they'll be surprises!
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The Victorian election is a little over a month away and the campaign is heating up.
While climate change is an under-reported issue at the state level, one place where it could have electoral impact is the regional seat of Macedon where leadership on renewable energy and pioneering efforts to cut emissions are visible to the community.
The release of the IPCC's Special Report on the impacts of 1.5C of global warming has piqued the public's awareness of what's at stake if governments fail to rein in polluting oil, gas, and coal companies and drive emissions cuts across the whole economy.
The Federal Coalition's comprehensive failure to address the issue has left many in the community frustrated and angry—particularly when climate impacts such as drought and winter bushfires are becoming more and more obvious.
With environmental organisations calling for greater leadership at the state level and communities spearheading local efforts, political parties and their candidates are expected to demonstrate climate literacy, outline their plans to cut emissions, and help communities cope with the climate impacts that are now locked in (and set to get worse).
The transport sector is the second largest and fastest growing source of emissions. Will Australian governments take steps to rein in emissions from the aviation sector? Community climate champion, John Englart, explores.
High speed rail is being placed back on the political agenda by Moreland Council arising from the problem of growth in aviation emissions as embedded within Melbourne Airport expansion plans, and the necessity to find alternatives to aviation emissions.
Moreland Council passed a resolution at the October Council meeting to advocate “to State and Federal Governments by writing to the Ministers for Planning, Transport and Environment as well as local Members of State and Federal parliament, that investment should be focused on the establishment of a Very Fast Train to connect Australia’s cities instead of expanding the privately-owned airports.”
The Melbourne-Sydney flight route is the second busiest domestic flight route globally.(Note 1) A high speed train service could provide a 3 hour Melbourne CBD to Sydney CBD service as a cost effective and low emissions alternative to flying.
For domestic travel in the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane corridor High Speed Rail makes enormous sense, and could be built within a ten year period and be operational by 2030.
What role might climate change play in the upcoming state election? Peter Gardner, a community climate champion from East Gippsland, explores. The following article originally published at Peter's blog.
Melbourne University energy hub senior adviser Simon Holmes à Court has been asking politicians and would be politicians a simple question on climate change. Some time ago he asked Liberal candidate in the Mayo by-election Georgina Downer “can you please let us know whether you accept the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming?” More recently he has asked the same question of the Liberal candidate in the Wentworth by-election David Sharma, with, so far, no response. Simon has then publicised the response or non-response to his followers on twitter.
Following Simon’s example I decided to ask the same question to candidates in the five Gippsland electorates starting with Gippsland East. Although still 50 days from the election it soon became obvious that this was an exceedingly difficult task and that I should concentrate on Gippsland East. So far I have asked the question of the five known candidates in the electorate and all have responded.
What role might climate change impacts play in the upcoming state election? Peter Gardner, a community climate champion from East Gippsland explores. The following article originally published at Peter's blog.
I have briefly examined the electoral prospects across Gippsland for climate candidates here. I concluded that given the right conditions all of the seats are vulnerable to strong candidates – Independents in the south and east, Labor in the west with Morwell ‘up for grabs’. Whilst the south and the east are probably safe for the Nationals conditions and the climate may go against them.