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.
In less than two months, the Andrews government will make its decision on the state’s first Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and ’30. And we’re not wasting a minute calling for ambition.
The summer bushfires and the impact they’ve had on communities, responders, wildlife and the natural world remind us what’s at stake if we fail to tackle the climate crisis.
Here’s a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
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...
The Federal Coalition is currently enjoying its third term in government. And yet, like Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull before him, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seriously failing Australia on climate solutions.
The Federal Coalition has been under a steadily rising pressure from climate change advocacy groups since its ascension in 2013.
To date, the Federal Coalition still has not provided a policy agenda to mitigate catastrophic climate change by reducing emissions. Data released earlier this year reveals that national emissions are increasing rather than decreasing.
It is not simply a matter of ignorance or inaction on the part of the Federal Coalition but wilful environmental vandalism.
Many commentators have linked the Coalition's destructive climate policies to the climate effects that are increasingly experienced in Australia, for example coastal erosion and severe weather events like the recent bushfires, as well as abroad such as rising sea levels affecting the Pacific Islands.
Act on Climate has previously showcased some of the Coalition's climate failure highlights between 2013-18.
As we near the end of 2019, let's take a look at some of the 'highlights' of their climate vandalism and neglect over the last two years...Read more
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.
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.
Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective has a simple mission: To make Victoria the national leader on climate action.
THE PROBLEM: THE FEDERAL GOVT'S CLIMATE FAILURE
We are facing a climate crisis. The polar ice caps are melting, the Great Barrier Reef is bleaching, and Australia is burning. Yet despite all the evidence, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his government refuse to act. National emissions have risen five years in a row and Australia will fail to deliver the emissions cuts it pledged under the Paris climate agreement.
The Morrison government's failure leaves communities exposed to intensifying heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, and rising seas.
THE SOLUTION: VICTORIAN CLIMATE LEADERSHIP
Communities across Victoria are showing incredible leadership. People from all walks of life—school students, unionists, firefighters, and activists—are calling for urgent political action. There's a growing chorus calling for governments to rein in emissions, secure a just transition, and protect communities on the frontline of climate impacts.
Communities are taking action. It's time for Premier Dan Andrews and the Victorian Labor government to join them.
WHAT'S NEEDED: LEADING THE DRIVE FOR LESS THAN 1.5°C
The Andrews government will soon set Emissions Reduction Targets for the years 2025 and '30. It's the first time a state government will set short- and medium-term targets across the whole economy. With climate impacts occurring much faster than scientists predicted, the litmus test is whether the targets help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Science-based Emissions Reduction Targets will continue Victoria's rollout of renewables and put the state on the map for the jobs-rich offshore wind energy industry. It would require greater investment in public transport and greater protection of native forests and the natural world.
The Andrews government can create jobs while cutting emissions by delivering Victoria's first Climate Budget. We’ve seen tens of billions invested in infrastructure. Now it's time for climate action to receive the investment it deserves.
- Call on Premier Dan Andrews to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets.
- Sign the Climate Budget pledge to campaign for the next big-ticket item.
- Support our grassroots campaign by making a donation.
- Get involved by attending an Act on Climate collective meeting, Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith St, Collingwood, 6pm every Monday night.
Act on Climate is pleased to bring you an update from the Bass Coast Climate Action Network (BCCAN).
It's crucial to hear from communities on the front lines of climate change, including here in Australia where we're already seeing the effects of extreme weather events, summers getting hotter than ever, and sea levels rising - like on the Bass Coast, where there has been over thirty metres of coastal erosion.
Read on for BCCAN's November newsletter.
BASS COAST CLIMATE ACTION NEWSLETTER: NOVEMBER
SOUND FOR CLIMATE!
Sound For Climate is only two weeks away! Final preparations are falling in place as we speak.
Have a read about the artists coming to perform. This group of young musicians have loud voices and they’re ready to put on a show to support the fight for climate action.
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.
The Andrews government has an opportunity to put Australia back on track by setting Emissions Reduction Targets that help keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Libby Capogreco, a member of the Grandmothers for Climate Action, met with her local MP Anthony Carbines to make the case for ambition: