Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions reached a seven-year high in August. It’s the latest sign of the Federal Coalition’s failure to tackle the climate crisis.
Victoria must show greater leadership while the likes of Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor are at the helm in Canberra. If our state acts with speed and ambition, we can put the country back on track.
The Andrews government will soon make a decision about the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. It is an opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to protecting communities and the natural world from dangerous climate impacts.
In August, we saw the bill to increase the Victorian Renewable Energy Target pass through the lower house of Parliament; the Solar Homes rebate was doubled to keep up with strong demand; and we celebrated the third anniversary of the permanent ban on unconventional gasfields.
Victoria has momentum when it comes to cutting emissions. It’s time to pick up the pace and bring them in line with what’s needed to keep global warming below 1.5°C.
Here's a quick update on our efforts over the last month...
ACT ON CLIMATE LEAD THE DRIVE FOR LESS THAN 1.5°C:
The big polluters and industry lobby groups will be working behind the scenes for loopholes and low ambition. It’s why we’ve kicked off a community-led lobbying blitz of Labor parliamentarians to ensure they hear the truth about the climate crisis.
We’ve already briefed Christine Couzens, Danny Pearson, Cesar Melhem, and Darren Cheeseman on the need for science-based targets. But we need your help to speak with many more and demonstrate strong community support for meeting the 1.5°C challenge.
COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS SKILL UP FOR MP MEETINGS:
Over 25 community champions joined us in August to skill up for meeting their local Labor member of parliament. Due to popular demand, we’ll be hosting two follow up events.
If you're willing to meet your local member, then join us for a briefing on our strategy. We'll cover everything you need to know about MP meetings, getting good press and social media coverage, and, most importantly, having an effective conversation with a politician.
Event info available at the following links:
HOLDING CLIMATE BLOCKERS TO ACCOUNT:
The owner of Australia's dirtiest coal-fired power plant, EnergyAustralia, is attempting to blame state climate and energy policy for the early closure of its old clunker, Yallourn. Act on Climate set the record straight at our blog and in a letter to the editor published by the Australian Financial Review.
Back in July we hand-delivered a letter to EnergyAustralia calling for the company to support state government efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Based on their recent media appearances, it seems the company is prepared to put its narrow economic interests ahead of the common good—in this case, a safe climate.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the likes of EnergyAustralia and other Climate Blockers as we head towards decision day.
MAKING THE CASE FOR POSITIVE SOLUTIONS:
The Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into community action on climate change is now underway. Act on Climate encouraged allies to make submissions to ensure the Environment & Planning Committee understand the full scope of community efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
An opinion article published in Renew Economy presented seven ideas for how the government can supercharge community action. We hope to see the committee support some of these ideas in its final report.
BACKING THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT:
Between the School Strike for Climate Action movement to insurgent Extinction Rebellion, it’s clear the climate movement is reaching new people and bringing them on board. Act on Climate reported from XR Moreland’s Sydney Road action and backed the University Walk Out for Climate Action.
It was also a privilege to present at the inaugural Macedon Ranges Youth Parliamentary Convention at Braemar College. Six schools from across the district gathered to discuss environmental justice and develop their own plans of action. We’re pleased to see students backing the call for governments to show greater leadership on the climate crisis.
SUPPORTING THE GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE:
The School Strike for Climate Action has become a global phenomenon. People from all walks of life will follow the lead of students across the country to strike for climate action on Friday September 20—just days before the UN’s emergency Climate Action Summit in New York.
Several Act on Climate collective members will be marshalling what is expected to be a massive rally in Melbourne. If you’d like to support the school students and ensure a safe rally, then sign up as a crowd marshal.
The Friends of the Earth camp are gearing up for the Climate Strike. We have a banner painting crafternoon at our home in Collingwood on Saturday 7 September, so pop in and get creative with us. And you're welcome to join the FoE bloc the big day.
There are plenty of fun events coming up in September and beyond. We'd love to see you at the following:
- Wed 4 Sept – Webinar, 6:00-7:00pm
- Sat 7 Sept – Climate Strike Crafternoon
- Sun 8 Sept – Workshop, 2:00-3:30pm
- Fri 20 Sept – Global #ClimateStrike - Melbourne
- Fri 25 Oct – Friends of the Earth Australia's 45th Birthday Party
And remember, you're always welcome to join us for weekly Act on Climate meetings at Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith St in Collingwood (Mondays at 6pm).
That's all from us for now. See you on the campaign trail...