The countdown to climate action continues.
The Victorian government has until March 31 next year to set the state's first interim Emissions Reduction Targets.
With the shock re-election of Scott Morrison our campaign to secure science-based targets in Victoria is more important than ever.
While a Federal Coalition government will seek to apply the handbrake to climate action, it's worth noting that we've been here before. And we know how to fight under these conditions.
Not long after Tony Abbott was elected in 2013, the Federal government mounted a sustained attack on renewable energy that saw investment drop by 90 percent and thousands of job losses.
In January 2014 we launched our push for a Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) to make the state a safe haven for the sector. Despite the odds, we never gave up. We built a powerful coalition that included communities; unions; renewable energy companies; and environment groups, and we won!
In 2017, the Andrews government enshrined the Victorian Renewable Energy Target in law and ran the country’s largest-ever reverse auction for new solar and wind projects. The scheme will treble the state’s renewable energy capacity, create 10,000 jobs, and cut emissions in the electricity sector by 16 percent.
We’ve made Victoria a safe haven for renewable energy. Now we must make it a safe haven for climate action.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
PUTTING CLIMATE ON THE AGENDA & HAVING IMPACT:
The Act on Climate collective is supporting community members in Inverloch and the Bass Coast where the impact of rising sea levels and intensifying storm surges can be seen.
In response to our work with the Bass Coast Climate Action Network and statewide media coverage, Minister for Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio and Jordan Crugnale MP visited the site of dramatic coastal erosion. You can read our blog on the minister’s fact-finding trip here.
Please join us in Inverloch on World Environment Day (June 5) for a community forum on climate impacts and solutions on the Bass Coast.
OUR RESPONSE TO BUDGET 2019:
Act on Climate attended the "budget lock in" and provided a rapid response of what it meant for climate change for our supporters.
In a nutshell, budget 2019 is the Andrews government's 'election promises' budget. It was not expected to be the #ClimateBudget we so desperately need to transform our economy and steer it towards a zero-carbon future. We’ll continue to build the case for a budget that creates jobs while cutting emissions.
In a sign that we're getting traction, the Victorian Greens backed our push for a Climate Budget. Party leader Samantha Ratnam wrote to Treasurer Tim Pallas in the lead up to budget day to call for it to deliver for climate and environment.
Read our full response here and TAKE ACTION: Sign our pledge to fight for Victoria’s first Climate Budget.
CLIMATE BLOCKERS WALKING TOUR:
While we're pushing for science-based targets to protect the community from runaway climate change, we're not the only ones in the game.
Corporate forces will deploy their lobbyists to push the government into setting low targets and ensuring there are loopholes galore.
Fifty community members took part in our first Climate Blockers walking tour to highlight the players that will try to undermine efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
Stand by for a blog detailing the full list of climate blockers as the special guest speakers that threw their weight behind the action. For now, please share our Facebook and Twitter posts.
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY:
Just days after the election, more than 60 activists from across the climate/environment/social justice movement gathered at Friends of the Earth's home base in Collingwood for a debrief.
While the result was disappointing, giving up is not an option. Those who attended are inspirational, unstoppable, and already planning next steps.
We were proud to provide space for the climate champions to connect and regroup.
RAISING AWARENESS & WINNING NEW ALLIES:
Rising star of the Act on Climate Lucinda took our message to the airwaves making her radio debut on 3CR. We presented to students at Doveton College, Melbourne Polytechnic TAFE in Greensborough, and RMIT University.
Complimenting our community outreach were meetings with Members of Parliament. Aaron, Lucinda, and I briefed Greens MP Tim Read and Labor MP Jordan Crugnale about our current campaigns. We look forward to both backing ambitious action on climate in the Parliament and in their communities.
SUPPORT THE FIGHT FOR CLIMATE ACTION:
Our campaign for science-based emissions cuts is gathering momentum. But we need help to take it to the next level. With the end of financial year upon us now’s a great time to make a tax-deductible donation to our campaign fighting fund.
Contributions will help us empower communities on the frontline, put the blockers on the back foot, and encourage politicians to show leadership. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation.
There are plenty of exciting events coming up in June. This month will begin with some big thinking before getting down to the practical work of grassroots campaigning. We'd love to see you at the following:
- Wed 5 June - Climate Impacts & Solutions on the Bass Coast
- Wed 5 June - Green New Deal Working Group Meeting
- Wed 12 June - Climate Election: WTF Happened? (with Jeff Sparrow)
- Sat 27 July - Get Shit Done #2: Creative community action training
And remember, you're always welcome to join us for weekly Act on Climate meetings at Friends of the Earth HQ on Monday nights from 6pm.
That's all from us for now. See you on the campaign trail...