Will the day be remembered as a celebration of Victorian climate leadership or for a protest registering discontent at a missed opportunity?... VOTE NOW!
Whatever the outcome, we need to be ready for the big day. Please RSVP below (and on Facebook) and stand by for an action alert.
It's crunch time for our long-standing campaign for science-based Emissions Reduction Targets in Victoria.
The Andrews government's decision is just weeks away and time is running out to make the case for keeping global warming below 1.5°C.
The summer bushfires and the impact they’ve had on communities, first responders, wildlife and the natural world has shown what’s at stake if we fail to tackle the climate crisis.
And that awareness inspired us to ramp things up in February.
Over the last month, we...
- Brought together Friends of the Earth collectives for the final push on Emissions Reduction Targets.
- Distributed a statement from Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action to MPs on the steps of Parliament.
- Briefed Labor government MPs about the need for targets to help keep global warming below 1.5C.
- Took action on the streets of Melbourne to defend the community’s hard-won moratorium on gas drilling.
- Secured statewide media attention with a human sign on the doorstep of the Premier’s electorate.
- Facilitated a meeting between the Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action and Minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
- Gave testimony to the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into community action on climate change.
- Met with EnergyAustralia to call on them to publicly support science-based targets.
- Secured regional media with a human sign at the iconic Hepburn Wind farm.
- Held market stalls, delivered public presentations, and more.
With less than four weeks left to influence Premier Dan Andrews’ thinking on state Emissions Reduction Targets, we have to take the same level of effort to the campaign in March.
And that’s EXACTLY what we intend to do!
On Wednesday 26 February, Friends of the Earth had the opportunity to present to the Victorian Parliament's inquiry into community action on climate change. Here's Act on Climate coordinator Leigh Ewbank's statement to the Planning & Environment committee:
In my time at Friends of the Earth, I’ve seen the incredible commitment of Victorian communities to tackling the climate crisis.
Friends of the Earth is a community-driven organisation formed in 1974. We have been a strong voice for environmental protection and social justice since then.
We have been engaged on the issue of climate change for over two decades and work towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions and building resilience through practical programs and advocacy.
Friends of the Earth’s Food Co-op & Café in Collingwood is a case in point. With produce from 150 farmers across the state, the café serves organic, seasonal, and vegan meals to our community every day.
The intentional use of local produce minimises the embodied carbon emissions from excessive transportation. Each year the café serves over 24,000 plates of food including to vulnerable people in the neighbourhood.
The co-op has also pioneered local organic waste composting to demonstrate ways to reduce methane emissions from food waste going to landfill and encourage low-carbon food production.
All compostable waste from the cafe is transported to a nearby primary school, which is only a couple of hundred metres away, where it is composted and used by the students to grow vegetables and educate them about the benefits of urban farming.
In addition to these practical examples, Friends of the Earth has been actively involved in advocacy. Each night of the week, dozens of community members work together on positive solutions.
Victorian opposition leader Michael O'Brien has responded to surging community concern about the climate crisis by announcing a policy shift on the issue, accepting the need for state emissions reductions.
Friends of the Earth says the shift is a positive first step.
Mr O'Brien told The Age newspaper that state Emissions Reduction Targets were necessary in the absence of a "consistent national policy."
The Victorian Liberal leader also called on the Morrison government to set national targets for cutting emissions beyond 2030.
Do you want Victoria to be the national leader on climate action?...
Do you think climate policy should be based on science not political expediency?...
Do you want to show the Morrison government what real climate action looks like?...
There’s just ten weeks to influence the Andrews government's decision on state Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and ‘30.
It’s a decision that will set the pace of climate action in Victoria for the next decade and have major implications for energy policy, transport planning, forest protection, and more.
The window of opportunity to influence the decision closing fast so we have to make every day count.
With climate impacts occurring much faster than scientists predicted, the key litmus test for the government is whether the targets help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Here's what we have in store to demonstrate to strong community support for climate leadership and counter the fossil fuel lobbyists who will be working behind the scenes for loopholes and low ambition.
We’re calling on all community climate champions like you join us on the campaign trail over the next ten weeks so that our call for science-based targets is one that cannot be ignored...
Last month, the Victorian Labor Party met for its annual conference on November 16 and 17. During the conference, Victorian Labor passed motions backing climate science and offshore wind.
The Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN), a group of party members and supporters, called on the "next Albanese government" to '"rely on the best scientific advice when setting targets for emissions reduction and renewable energy generation" and stimulate new, sustainable, well-paying, unionised jobs through climate action & enviro protections’ (@LEAN_Victoria).
The backing of the Victorian Labor rank and file for climate and energy policy to be based on the "best scientific advice" sends a strong signal to the Andrews government in its upcoming decision on Emissions Reduction Targets.
Back in July, Friends of the Earth called on our supporters to meet with local Labor MPs to make the case for science-based Emissions Reduction Targets for Victoria.
The Morrison government's refusal to tackle the climate crisis has seen the country's emissions increase five years in a row. The refusal to act leaves communities exposed to intensifying heatwaves, bushfires, sea-level rise, and extreme weather.
In contrast to the national performance on greenhouse gases, Victoria's emissions are on a downward trajectory. The Andrews government has an opportunity to build on the momentum by setting Emissions Reduction Targets that are bold and ambitious, but will it rise to the challenge?
Liz Reen, Mitzi Tuke, and community members from a local branch of the Australian Conservation Foundation met with local MP Paul Hamer to make the case for ambition:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s refusal to tackle the climate crisis was exposed last month. Community members affected by the unprecedented bushfires in NSW rebuked the conservative government’s ideological response to the emergency. The push back was so great that the PM went into hiding.
The Morrison government’s refusal to act underscores the need for Victoria to show greater leadership. With less than four months left to influence the Andrews government’s decision on interim Emissions Reduction Targets, we’re making every day count.
Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
It has been an epic year. We've been supporting communities on the frontline of climate impacts; putting climate blockers such on the backfoot; boosting the climate movement in all its forms; and meeting with as many Victorian Labor politicians as possible...
Why the latter?
Because Premier Dan Andrews and the Labor government will soon set Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30.
It's the first time a state government will set short- and medium-term targets across the whole economy. And, given PM Scott Morrison's refusal to tackle the climate crisis, it's an opportunity that we can't miss.
With climate impacts occurring much faster that predicted, the litmus test for the Andrews government is whether the Emissions Reduction Targets help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Science-based targets will continue Victoria's renewable energy rollout and put the state on the map for the jobs-rich offshore wind industry. It will require greater investment in public transport and greater protection for forests and the natural world.
While we've urged well over a dozen MPs to lead the drive for less than 1.5°C, we need your help to reach the rest of them.