The theme for International Women’s Day this year is “Choose to Challenge“. International Women’s Day is a global day of celebration for the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It also provides space to amplify calls for an accelerated move toward gender parity. Women are crucial to the fight for climate justice, biodiversity, and environmental sustainability. In this month’s newsletter, you will see some of the many amazing women volunteers and activists that Choose to Challenge runaway climate change with CCL Australia, as they work to achieve effective climate policy.
CCL Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the country across Australia, respecting their connection to sea, land and community. We pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
Notes from the Chair
CCL Australia National Chair Rod Mitchell gives us a rundown of March.
There’s a lot to be pleased with this fortnight as we forge ahead with many new initiatives. Several times this week I have said it feels like I’m on a runaway train! The good news is that there are now plenty of safe hands guiding the train so I’ll just strap in and keep my eyes on the track ahead!
We are building up to our conference and the launch of our Political Strategy on March 28th. Dennys Angove and team have crafted a strategy to guide our advocacy for a liveable world as we approach the twenty-sixth Conference Of Parties (CoP 26) and the next Federal election. See its launch at the conference – you can register here or see the recording later.
The political strategy dovetails nicely with our recently launched Project GO, our grasstops engagement lever. Project GO will deliver many prominent and influential endorsers for Australian Climate Dividend, local and national, over the rest of the year.
And our grassroots lever will soon be boosted by a new campaign focused on the dividend part of the Australian Climate Dividend. For too long we have been focussed on the fee and neglected the power of the dividend to carry our preferred policy forward.
This week we meet with the Blueprint Institute, a relatively new centrist thinktank that is promoting moderate and sensible policies in conservative circles. We also meet with Chris Bowen, the new Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy.
The conference comes ahead of a month of lobbying. Peter Todd and our interns are setting up MP Meetings for April and the conference will provide plenty of preparation and briefing for lobby teams, as well as training for newer volunteers joining lobby teams.
On International Women’s Day we had our longest and most effective Board meeting yet as we considered the implementation of our new ‘team of teams’ organisational structure. And most appropriately, we discussed the gender and age makeup of the Board which is too male and lacks youth! We resolved to address that by asking Cathy Hall to assemble a team to address the issue; she has already started and I’m now looking forward to working with a more diverse and better-balanced Board after the next AGM.
Finally, our Fundraising and Marketing team is finalising a fundraising strategy that will launch over the next two weeks. Look out for it as it unfolds and feel free to add your contribution to making our climate dividend a reality.
So much happening – I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I am!
With gratitude and warm regards
A message of hope from Rod Taylor
The situation is dangerous and only one man can save us.
This tired Hollywood trope is both tragically true and dangerously wrong. These are indeed, perilous times. The phrase climate emergency only partially captures our malaise which goes beyond climate. Work by Earth System Scientists indicates that we are pushing the planet towards an unstable future. A few years ago, we rarely heard the word ‘collapse’, although the Club of Rome tried to warn us.
Our predicament is not like other crises: if the great wars had gone another way, we would’ve muddled through somehow. If we don’t solve this one, there is no escape.
It is a profoundly disturbing and depressing situation. Yet the worst thing we could do is give way to despair, not least, for our own sanity. We occupy a crucial moment in history, and what we do today will make a vast difference.
Science confirms what we know from personal experience, that depression draws us into helplessness. Imagine being told you face a terrible problem that you are powerless to solve. You know where that leads.
This feeling is connected to the one man notion that has infected our culture. We are not lone heroes. We are deeply connected social beings. Indeed, it is a key reason why humans have been astoundingly successful in exploiting every niche on Earth, and then some. Our strength is our ability to cooperate and when we do, remarkable things happen.
The genius of CCL is that it brings people together to focus on the levers of power. Being involved with CCL is a way to express our concern while demonstrating that we are not powerless. It is a model that I advocate among other environmental groups because I see that it is effective.
If the exceptional, talented individual is rare, where does that leave us? The answer, I believe, is in the nature of the team. Each brings their own character and set of skills. No one is an island, entire of itself (from Donne).
We see this operating during CCL lobbying sessions, where each person adopts a role that suits their inclination. How that works is another topic but for now, I’ll leave you with my own aphorism.
Rod Taylor. Author, CCL member
For more from Rod Taylor, follow the links below!
Read more on Ten Journeys on a Fragile Planet available here
Listen to Rod on the Australian Broadcasting Network’s Science Show
The Climate this month.
A brief summary of Jennie Goldie’s recent “The Climate This Week” articles.
The Parliamentary hearings for Zali Steggall’s Climate Change Bill at the House of Representatives in Canberra to call for net-zero emissions by 2050 and a concurrent pathway took place. The Bill received 6,500 submissions before its committee hearing, an overwhelming indication of its success. However, a new Climate Panel Taskforce has found that a 2050 target for net-zero emissions may not suffice in keeping warming within 2°C of pre-industrial levels.
Instead, the target should be 2045. Conversely, Australia’s Prime Minister is advocating a gas-led COVID-19 recovery that safeguards the traditional fossil-fuel-based economy, while attempting to adapt to a contrarily climate-positive government and President in Washington. Such a confused climate policy platform will see Australia remain a climate laggard.
At the National Press Club, Scott Morrison claimed the government is aiming for net-zero emissions by 2050. Effective and evidence-based climate action is growing in urgency. The Climate Council’s recent report found that the impact of natural disasters and extreme weather events, due to anthropogenic climate change, escalates exponentially.
It forecasts that, by 2038, it may cost the national economy up to A$100 billion. We experience the tangible and intangible costs now, year-to-year; fires surrounding Perth last month claimed at least 86 homes. Nonetheless, the Federal Government has not implemented the Bushfire Royal Commission’s recommendations. Perhaps recent support in Washington for a bill declaring a climate emergency will provide the much-needed impetus.
Perhaps political will may be generated by increased taxation on Australian exports to the European Union (EU). Last month, the European Parliament’s environmental committee endorsed a carbon tariff—or carbon border adjustment—which is expected to form the basis for a European Commission policy in June. The import tariff is forecast at A$71 per tonne of CO2 emissions, peaking at A$139 by 2030. The Australian government’s implementation of a Climate Dividend would protect Australian businesses and competitiveness from these costs.
For now, responsibility has been devolved to both state governments and activists – such as us. Last month, the community-based Oakey Coal Action Alliance won its appeal to the High Court of Australia, which rejected the New Acland Coal Mine’s (Queensland) expansion. Furthermore, the Clean Energy Regulator has found that Australians are now the world’s greatest adopters of rooftop solar panels. Incredibly, sixteen-year-old Anjali Sharma, along with seven other teenagers and a nun, are taking Environment Minister Sussan Ley to court. They argue that the government has neglected its duty of care to young people by continuing to burn fossil fuels. In Western Australia, the Labor State Government’s Premier Mark McGowan released a A$259m green-jobs package and subsequently won reelection in a landslide victory.
Written by Akshay Vallam—CCL Australia Volunteer.
Climate Monthly is a summary of Jenny Goldie’s recent Jottings from her “The Climate This Week” articles.
CCL Australia volunteers made the most of lobbying and networking opportunities at the Hyde Park Fair in Perth (28/2)
A big thank-you to those of you who attended the Hyde Park Fair on the 28th of February in Perth, on Whadjuk Country, and had committed to doing so on the 1st of March. Unfortunately, it was rained off on the latter date, though attendants made the most of the first day.
Our Media Team Coordinator, Darren Helsby, reports: ‘The nicest moment for me was when an elderly lady approached me and just said “Thank-you, for what you are doing!” I’ve had subsequent conversations with friends last night where the same sentiment was expressed. People aren’t necessarily confident enough to stand behind a stall and advocate for climate action, but they appreciate that we are willing to do it.
We were the only climate-related group at the event and we spoke with lots of interesting people who, with one exception, were all on board with climate action. Mark McGowan, Zak Kirkup, Patrick Gorman, Jordan Steele-John and other state politicians, walked past or visited our booth and will have noted our presence.
I even saw Jeff Wilson going through all the details of our approach with a person from the Liberal Party stall that visited us. A big thank-you to Tahnee and Melisha who prepared all the flyers, posters, bumper stickers, and designed our display – I thought we looked organized and professional and all the new design artifacts can be re-used to help us level-up for our next big tabling event. A big thank-you to Erin, also, who came down early with the marquee and helped with setup and tabling. Finally, to the man who knows all the details and organised our survey of the political parties, Jeff Wilson; Jeff gave a superb interview with a live streaming radio presenter. Have a look around the 820s mark of the following video: https://fb.watch/3Y6KkP7fdH/.
Moving forward, if you identify any good tabling opportunities such as large public fairs, sustainability expos, university fairs, and so on, please let me [Darren] know. We need to be everywhere, acting as a constant reminder to the general public that more action needs to be taken! I was thinking that the next time there is a major Oil & Gas expo at the Convention Centre, we should see if we can get a booth there. It’d be a challenge and only for the thick-skinned, but there needs to be constant pressure being applied and our non-partisan, solution-focused approach of having thoughtful conversations with people makes us ideally placed for such a challenge.
Finally, I’ve organized a CCL catchup at the Island Brew House at Elizabeth Quay for 11 am on Sunday 14th March. If you can make it I’d love to see you there!’
Bennelong Steps Up for Clean Up Australia Day
Danya, a CCL Australia volunteer in the Federal Electoral Division of Bennelong, on Dharug Country, in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, NSW, writes on her experience at the local Bennelong, NSW clean up event on March 7th: “We picked up rubbish from in and around a local creek (Buffalo Creek in Ryde). It was a satisfying and meaningful activity – although also saddening to see the amount of plastic packaging, cigarette butts and other bits of waste that humans had discarded and ended up contaminating the environment.
Our CCL chapter leader, Jordan, commented that there seemed to be much less rubbish than usual (although still about 10 bags full) – perhaps due to less consumption activity in the past year due to COVID-19.
Councillor Penny Pedersen from the local Ryde Council joined us; we had invited her to speak at an upcoming monthly CCL Bennelong chapter meeting on Zoom earlier and she asked if she could join our Clean Up Australia Day efforts. It was great to be able to meet her beforehand and make a connection in person. Many people living nearby stopped to have a chat and some even joined us in our efforts. We found that it was a great opportunity for promoting both Clean Up Australia Day and grassroots outreach – we wore our CCL t-shirts on the day.
It was a good reminder that everyone cares about our environment and people generally have a desire to do something to care for it.”
Join us for a free community and online event this Wednesday, March 17, to hear from Councillor Penny Pedersen about how councils are addressing climate change. Register here
National Conversation – a discussion on our Political Strategy. @8:00pm Thursday 18th of March
Our Strategy Team has developed a new political strategy to guide our advocacy and our building of political will for the next 12 months or so.
Dennys Angove will give us an overview so that we can discuss how best to use it. We will also discuss the Implementation Plan developed by Maree Nutt.
This is critical work for us as we approach CoP 26 and the next federal election. Hosted by our National Coordinator Rod Mitchell, join CCL members from around Australia to share your thoughts and opinions. At 8 pm AEDT on Thursday click the link: https://zoom.us/j/7868786878
Please join us!
CONFERENCE: Achieving Net-Zero (online) @ 1:00pm Sunday 28th of March.
CCL Australia’s first Zoom Conference in 2021 will be on Sunday 28th March at 1 pm AEDT. The Conference will launch our New NZE2050 Political strategy. We will be asking both the Coalition and Australian Labor Party to come together with a bipartisan approach to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, as well as supporting both the Zali Steggall Climate Change Bill and of course our favorite approach for pricing carbon – the Australian Climate Dividend.
There will also be lobby meetings organised with Senators and MPs during the following five weeks as Parliament is not sitting during those five weeks. These Lobby meetings will be either over Zoom or in person, whichever is more suitable. The main focus of the Conference and Lobbying will be on how Australia can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. If our politicians are urged to build a plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, there will be a necessity for them to understand the need for a Carbon Price. The Conference will also go into details of how to Lobby Coalition MPs, how to Lobby Labor or Independent MPs and how to Lobby Local Councils.
To register for the conference and secure your spot, click here.
The Dividend Challenge:
We’ll be looking to build a CCL Dividend Challenge Team over the next month to plan and discuss logistics before the start of the CCL Dividend Challenge on 10th May. During the two weeks of the Challenge, we will also need people to help manage certain tasks and perform calculations. If you’d like to be involved, be sure to send an email to Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Modernising Communications and Collaboration Within CCL Australia
CCL Australia has begun trialing Microsoft 365 to enhance our Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) capability, with the experienced hands of Robert Cruikshank. He spoke with us about the trial: “This collection of Cloud-based tools from Microsoft are becoming very common in enterprises around the world and CCL Australia can make good use of them to help with the difficult task of keeping up with the rapidly changing world of climate change.
What is Microsoft 365 and UCC? Over the years communications in enterprises have progressed exponentially – from written memos to telephones, teleconferencing, company email, file sharing, company Intranets, to instant messaging. With COVID-19 changing the way we work and live, we have seen the rapid growth of desktop video conferencing.
All of these technologies can be very confusing and not well integrated as different vendors implemented them at different times with little consideration for integrated operation. The ‘U’ in ‘UCC’ stands for ‘Unified’ and marks the introduction of a strategy that brings all the levels of communication and collaboration into a cohesive set of tools that work together. There are several vendors that sell these solutions – Microsoft 365 and Google Workplace are two of the most common. Both offer considerable discounts to not-for-profit organisations. CCL Australia’s Management Team has decided to trail Microsoft 365.”
Joyce Erceg and Claudia Perry-Beltrame
“I can’t miss the opportunity to acknowledge the powerful contribution being made by many CCL Australia women. And this year I’d like to highlight the contribution of two women in particular.
Joyce Erceg has been a quiet but highly effective achiever for several years now. She is Regional Coordinator for WA, leads the Group Development Team, and is active on several other teams. She has personally welcomed many new volunteers to CCL over many coffees and Zoom calls and has trained a number of welcomers to do the same.
Joyce supports Group Leaders and other Regional Coordinators across the country in their work to build and maintain local groups. Her warmth, focus, and determination have inspired many others in our efforts to build political will for climate solutions. She is stepping back a little for the rest of the year to be with her grandchildren as their parents take on a big project but will still be a strong presence.
Claudia Perry-Beltrame joined us only a year ago but quickly offered her expertise in organisational development and change management to CCL. Her timing was impeccable as we needed her expertise to enable us to plan and restructure ourselves in response to the rapid post-bushfire growth in our membership. Our new vision and goals are guiding our rapid progress towards the level of organisation we need to enable Australia to become a leader in the race to zero emissions. Claudia has also led the team of four who proposed the ‘team of teams’ organisational structure that was accepted by the Board at this week’s meeting. Many many thanks, Claudia!
With gratitude and warm regards,
CCL Australia Chair.
CCL Australia Board Establishes a Women’s Caucus
Inspired by the campaign theme of this year’s International Women’s Day #Choose to Challenge and confronted by the reality that only one position on the CCL Australia Board of eight is currently occupied by a woman, the CCL Australia Board recently resolved to establish a Women’s Caucus to address this anomaly.
The goal of the Women’s Caucus is quite simple, to increase the number of women on the Board and thereby increase its diversity and ultimately its effectiveness. The Caucus process will report to the Board what needs to be done to create an environment and interest amongst women to nominate for and be elected to the Board in accordance with the constitution at the 2021 AGM.
The process will be led by Cathy Hall from the Board, with assistance from other key leaders. An open invitation is extended to all women who have joined CCL Australia to participate in the Caucas.
“One of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia’s top priorities is to build awareness and support for the Australian Climate Dividend Plan (ACD) in the community and across the political spectrum. CCL has five well-tested levers to influence our legislators, known as the Five Levers of Political Will: Lobbying, Media, Grassroots Outreach and Grasstops Engagement, underpinned by Group Development.
Grasstops Engagement asks for support from prominent community leaders, businesses, and non-governmental organisations that CCL Groups can deliver to their Federal and State Members of Parliament. Our National Grasstops Action Team has undertaken a project to significantly enhance our ability to grow political will for our keystone solution, and empower our volunteers to strategically ramp up grasstops engagement across Australia.
Six (6) Groups across the country were involved in a pilot programme to test the newly developed process and resources, which were adapted from the successful approach of our counterparts in the United States and Canada. CCL is ready to (re)launch this important and impactful lever in Australia—and you can now add grasstops to your climate advocacy. We’ll be releasing an on-demand training video shortly to help you get started. If you’re interested in learning more about Grasstops Engagement, email us today and we will let you know once it’s available.”
For the full story and further reading click the link below!
Written by Jordan Hodgson—CCL Australia volunteer in the Federal Electoral Division of Bennelong, on Dharug Country, in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney, NSW.
Edited by Sierra Farr—CCL Australia Volunteer based in Melbourne, On Wurundjeri Country.
Welcoming new supporters and helping them find their way in the organisation is such an important part of sustaining and growing the number of electorate groups, and thus the number of MPs who hear about carbon fee and dividend. To that end we are delighted to say that we have some wonderful volunteers who will call recently joined members to smooth their way into CCL Australia and match their skills and interests with tasks we need help with. So thank you Emily, (NSW and ACT) Tony (Victoria and Tasmania) and Dianne (WA) for starting this very important initiative.
If anyone would like to either help these guys or start this in other States, just contact Joyce.
CCL Australia has created a new action team focussed on training and education. The idea is to create a cohort of 4 or 5 presenters who can deliver live training material to members as needed. Videos of the material will also be produced for viewing on-demand.
The first step was to hire a Training and Education Coordinator and this was accomplished in October 2020 when Bill Shute was recruited. The second step was to put together a small team as a foundation. Bill has been joined by Pam Pitt and Paget Foerster and together they are starting to make their presence felt. They are working on a video entitled ‘An Introduction to CCL for New Members’. This will be posted on the website in a little while. They are also involved in preparing and presenting material for the conference at the end of this month.
Later, videos will be made on each of the 5 levers for creating political will and after that new ideas will undoubtedly emerge.
Here is a short bio of each of the team members:
“I first became interested in climate change when I watched Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in the year 2000. Since then I have watched the world take a very long time to do very little about this crisis. In Australia, our politicians are paralysed on the issue and yet things are only getting worse with every year that passes. When I retired, I decided I had to get involved and that’s when I joined CCL.”
“I joined CCL because I care about our world. For years, I’ve been collecting bags of plastic on my morning walks. I’ve been upset at the increase in plastic packaging at the shops and I have taken many steps to reduce, reuse and recycle. But it doesn’t make an iota of difference on a larger scale. Now I have 3 grandchildren under the age of 7 and I don’t want to leave the world a worse place for them to inherit. I want to be proud to say that I was able to help make a difference to the world that will be theirs.”
“I joined the Training and Education department at CCL as I love teaching and I’m passionate about the environment. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine the two, and it has been an enlightening experience to date. I look forward to learning and growing with the organisation and helping others to do the same.”
A blog by Jason Am.
“Our objective was to plant Birdwing Butterfly Vine (pararistolochia praevenosa), an essential food source for that species, to create a corridor in that region. Once the task was complete, the young son, who would’ve been no greater than the age of five, explicitly stated it was the best thing he had done during this trip. The simple activity of planting made this child’s day. Oblivious of the significance behind what we had done, it was fascinating to see the enthusiasm of this young child. Perhaps his actions would be pivotal to the survival of this wonderful butterfly species.”
Click the link below to read Jason’s article about the intersection of bush-care, hope, and people.
Written By Jason Am—CCLA Volunteer based in Brisbane, on Yugerra country.
CCL Australia Volunteers Influencing Public Discourse in Fight for Change.
CCL Australia Volunteers achieved 28 letters to the editor publications over the course of February, along with 17 in March already. We are building quite the media presence and the quality of letters is growing each month. With this in mind, choosing March’s letter of the month was no easy choice. Nonetheless, we are proud to announce March’s Letter to the Editor of the Month goes to Corrine Ang! Corrine’s letter responded to Jim Main’s article “Why I’ve reinvented myself as a climate warrior”, which is Main’s self-reflection on his evolution from climate denier to climate advocate. Thank you for sharing your experience and passion, Corrine!
We also really liked these Letters to the Editor by Emma Storey and Maree Nutt, so here’s a little extra something-something for you all.
Interested in writing Letters to the Editor? – drop us a line.
New Reporters: An insight as to why Sierra decided to volunteer for CCL Australia
My name’s Sierra and I’m a university student at Monash majoring in environmental science and philosophy. I love both and find the connection between them to be more prominent than ever. There are so many environmental issues that aren’t as clear cut as they may seem. Climate change is a huge issue and there are misconceptions abound! Joining the CCLA Newsletter team is a way for me to channel two passions of mine into one and hopefully bring more light to this ever-complex problem.
I’m always a bit disappointed that there’s always a divide when it comes to climate change. You’re a believer or a denier. You lose money or you degrade the environment. With a climate dividend we can all win because it’s a circular loop that a) is sustainable b) gets a bit of money back in your pocket c) helps out the most underprivileged in society and d) helps to protect our environment. My mum would definitely be pleased with saving money even if she’s not convinced by the negative effects of climate change. So even if you have a parent/relative/friend that’s not big into climate change, maybe you can convince them of the benefits of a climate dividend when you mention how much money they’d be saving. It’s in everyone’s best interests. It’s a win-win. This was ultimately why I wanted to join CCL 🙂
Written by Sierra Farr—CCLA Volunteer based in Melbourne, On Wurundjeri Country.
Social Media News
Facebooks brief news block failed and CCL Australia Facebook is back and planning to stay!
After a brief news blackout on Facebook, CCL Australia’s Facebook page is back online and sharing some great content. There is a Facebook Event page dedicated to the National Conference, we encourage all attendants to visit this page and click attending, then invite your friends! The more attendants that click attending, the greater traction this important event will have online! Follow the links below for further information
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Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia acknowledges
the Traditional Custodians of the Lands
on which we live, lobby, advocate, and educate.
We pay our respect to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.