Friends of the Earth International respond to new IPCC Report: ‘This is a climate emergency’

8 October 2018, Amsterdam and globally: Today the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change launched its Special Report on Global Warming at 1.5 degrees, Friends of the Earth International groups are mobilizing for equitable and ambitious climate action that keeps global warming below 1.5 degrees without the need for dangerous techno-fixes.

The IPCC’s new report provides evidence that governments must now heed: there are still ways to avoid runaway climate change, but only if the world acts now, and with determination—going well beyond the commitments made under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement.

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IPCC Report a stark wake-up call on climate change

The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its highly-anticipated Special Report into the impacts of 1.5 degrees global warming.

The report finds climate change is already impacting communities around the world through increased severity of flooding, storms, drought and heatwaves, and that radical action is required to limit warming to well-below 1.5C.

Friends of the Earth Australia says the report is a stark wake-up call on climate change and reaffirms that all governments must undertake immediate, transformative action on climate or risk catastrophic impacts.

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Episode 2 of the Act on Climate Election Run-up Podcast is out!

Great for staying up-to-date with Act on Climate leading up to the state election, episode 2 of the miniseries is now live. This is great for sharing with friends and family to get them informed about what's at stake in this election, and what Act on Climate is doing to create a safe future. In this episode we get an update from Leigh, and an excerpt of an interview with Kate, all in under ten minutes!

State Election Podcast starring Act on Climate

Act on Climate, in collaboration with Climactic, a climate change podcast that tells grassroots stories, is releasing a weekly show every Sunday until the Victorian election. Hear updates from Act on Climate, find out what's happening in the election run-up, and see where you can get involved! Check it out at or search 'Climactic' wherever you get your podcasts, including Spotify!

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Five ways Matthew Guy and the Liberals can commit to climate action

Victoria will go to the polls in less than two months. Community members concerned about climate change impacts are still waiting for opposition leader Matthew Guy and the Liberal party to release a policy to tackle climate change.

Matthew Guy will give a high-profile address on Victoria’s economic future at the Committee for Economic Development Australia in a fortnight. This speech is an opportune moment for the opposition to lay out its plan to rein in emissions and prepare our economy for climate impacts.

(Indeed, a speech on the future of Victoria’s economy that failed to acknowledge climate change would be shortsighted and a failure of political leadership.)

Polling shows that Victoria—Australia’s most progressive state—is ready for climate action. An in-depth study commissioned by Sustainability Victoria found that:

  • 91 percent of Victorians accept some level of human causality for climate change
  • 30 percent rate climate change in the top three issues facing the state
  • 78 percent think climate change is an issue that requires urgent action now
  • 84 percent support state Renewable Energy Targets
  • 9 in 10 Victorians believe the state government should be taking action on climate change
  • 8 in 10 want to live in a state that is leading on climate change

To date, the Labor government and the Greens have out performed Matthew Guy and the Coalition on climate action.

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Policy Watch: Vic Greens, first party to support a Climate Budget in new climate & energy plan

The Victorian Greens have become the first political party in the state to support a Climate Budget with the release of their climate and energy policy ahead of the November election.

Friends of the Earth welcome the announcement saying fresh thinking about climate change policy is long overdue. 

"The Greens announcement sets the bar for action on climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson.

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Voices from Regional Vic: Bringing on the Climate Emergency

By Peter Gardner, a community climate champion from East Gippsland. Article originally published at Peter's blog.  

A perceptive and important article on the climate emergency in the Age by Paul Gilding appeared recently. Gilding compared the current situation with the unprecedented emergency caused by World War II. The similarities between then and now are clear.

On the historical analogy he stated:

“The evidence of the threat posed by Hitler was overwhelming and the case for action crystal clear. However, many were still deeply resistant to acting. Only when the threat became overwhelming – until it was accepted as an imminent crisis – was Britain triggered into action. When it was, Winston Churchill led the critical shift in thinking, arguing that no matter how uncomfortable, expensive or challenging to the status quo, sometimes you just have to do what is necessary. Not your best, or what you can afford, or what’s “realistic” – but what is necessary.

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Matthew Guy in focus as community members mount detective hunt for the opposition's missing climate policy

Community members have mocked opposition leader Matthew Guy and the Coalition for their failure to deliver a climate change policy in a theatrical action at Parliament House. 

Friends of the Earth, representatives from the Victorian Trades Hall Council and Environment Victoria, and over 30 community members dressed in detective costumes to mount a 'detective hunt' for the missing climate change policy.

"Unchecked climate change leaves Victorians exposed to impacts such as intensifying droughts and bushfires," said Anna Langford, Friends of the Earth spokesperson. 

"Victoria has an election in less than three months and opposition leader Matthew Guy has failed to present a plan to rein in emissions and protect the community from climate impacts."

"It's highly unusual for an opposition to head to a general election with no policy for a serious issue such as climate change."

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Will Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy seize the opportunity to act on climate?

Originally published at Renew Economy.

Victoria will go to the polls in less than three months. The outcome of the 2018 state election will have big implications for tackling climate change and rolling out renewable energy.

Given that pundits are saying it will be a “knife edge” election, every vote matters. And the policies Labor and the Coalition take to the election on climate change could decide who forms government.

Will Premier Daniel Andrews and Labor seize the initiative and bring an ambitious package of commitments to its election platform? Will Matthew Guy and the Liberal National Party protect a point of vulnerability with voters by modernising their stance on climate change and energy?

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Vic govt's Solar Homes Plan, good news for Ripon and climate action

Community-driven environment group Friends of the Earth have welcomed the Andrews government's Solar Homes Plan to rollout solar panels on 650,000 homes across Victoria.

The group—which has been working with community members in the Central Goldfields, Northern Grampians, and Ararat who are concerned about climate change impacts—have lauded the initiative for cutting power bills and the emissions causing climate change. Participating households are expected to save $800 on power bills and the initiative will cut Victoria's emissions by four million tonnes.

"The Andrews government's Solar Homes Plan is an opportunity for people in Maryborough, Stawell, Ararat and surrounding regions to save on their power bills while helping to tackle climate change," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's spokesperson.

"Maryborough and the Central Goldfields region, for example, is already seeing the impacts of climate change having experienced the driest July on record in 2017 and record-breaking heat in April this year. Victoria saw record-breaking heat in April this year and we've seen bushfires in East Gippsland."

"The Andrews government's solar rollout will contribute towards Victoria meeting its legislated target of zero net emissions by 2050."

Friends of the Earth expects the Solar Homes Plan to see towns in the state electorate of Ripon build on their strong solar uptake.

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