April is Lobby Month, whereby we launch our enhanced Grassroots Outreach and Grasstops Engagement programs; there is a multitude of work going on at Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Australia. Facilitated by the launch of our new political strategy, outlined below, CCL Australia is utilising the parliamentary recess to foster support for the Australian Climate Dividend (ACD) and build political will for a liveable world. We strive to propel Australia on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050. Accordingly, and detailed further below; members are meeting with many high-profile MPs. There have been several successful tabling events, particularly at Denmark (West Australia) Easter Market, where we trialled the new Grassroots Outreach approach that aims to mobilise people to ‘demand their climate dividend.’ Below, Tom Hunt illustrates why the ACD is the policy solution the Australian Government needs. Very importantly, we pay tribute to Tom for his significant contributions to CCL Australia in recent years.
Per CCL Australia’s new approach, members are making good progress building the platform necessary to achieve our major goal – an active well-supported chapter in every federal electorate by the end of 2023. Joyce Erceg and Jordan Hodgson explain this in more detail beneath.
Citizen’s Climate Lobby Australia is also developing its new intranet site, which will further develop the capabilities of CCL Australia volunteers.
Continuing from last month, the newly established Training and Education Team has exciting news, too.
Please join fellow members in the online National Conversation, on the twenty-second of April, hosted by National Coordinator Rod Mitchell, to discuss all things CCL and climate. Don’t forget to register for the upcoming CCL Dividend Challenge. You can also celebrate and partake in actions for World Earth Day (22/4). There’s more on this below.
There’s plenty of external news, too, such as our second edition of Climate Monthly by Akshay Vallam.
We have included many ways for you to help your fellow citizens recover from recent flooding and storms. Similarly, we ask you to support the Torres Strait Eight with their complaint against the Australian Government at the United Nations Human Rights Commission.
In February, we asked you to vote for the climate change inspired mural you’d like to see canvassed in Canberra. This month, we showcase the winner. We have also announced a tied Letter to the Editor of the Month, and Sierra Farr has written the Newsletter’s first climate change related documentary review. Scroll down to see view some beautiful artwork, inspiring letters, and a documentary that’s surely going on your watch list.
Finally, CCL Australia has set up its donation portal on Chuffed.org. If you haven’t yet donated please consider doing so here. Donations enable us to appoint the staff we need to support you, our valued supporters, to create the political will for effective climate policy.
Lots to read – please enjoy!
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.
Zero by 2050 May Not be so Hard
Written by Tom Hunt, CCL Australia Member living at Lakeside, on Dharawal Country.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has agreed to a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for Australia “as soon as possible, and preferably by 2050” but has also said, reaching net-zero “is no longer about if or when but, importantly, how”. He knows how fraught setting climate policy in Australian politics can be, and could be forgiven for thinking he can only dream of finding a powerful enough policy that all can agree upon. But is it really so difficult?
Growing global consensus that the 2050 target is essential to have any chance of limiting warming to a bearable level and the tipping points in earth’s climate system increasing the risk of runaway heating, make the quest for effective policy even more vital.
More than 110 countries around the world, including most of our major trading partners, have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050 or soon after. The reasons for Australia’s hesitation are many and complex but are becoming increasingly irrelevant as pressure mounts. However, without a policy breakthrough, little progress appears possible.
Looking at emissions reduction efforts to date let’s compare it to what’s needed to achieve net-zero by 2050:
Australia’s baseline for reduction was set at our 2005 level, 628 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (628MtCO2-e), though emissions peaked in 2007, at 644 Metric tons (Mt). From 2007 until 2013 we reduced our emissions an average of 16.7Mt per year (Mt/yr), a rate which if maintained could have achieved net-zero by 2046.
With the change in Government in 2013 came a change in policies – from a ‘carbon tax’ to a ‘direct action’ approach. Emissions reduction slowed to an average 3.4Mt/yr for the following 6 years. Then in 2020 COVID saw it drop by 25.2Mt. Even assuming the COVID affected reduction could be maintained, the overall trend 2013-2020 was just 5.3Mt/yr.
To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 we need to reduce at an average rate of 16.8Mt/yr.
Perhaps those first 6 years of emissions reductions claimed some easy yards in this race, but even the current ground should be easy enough with renewable energy proving the cheapest option, and electric vehicles soon to be equally cost-effective. But there will be tougher ground ahead.
How do we achieve the three to five-fold improvement in emissions reduction we now need to get all the way down to zero by 2050? Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor’s ‘Roadmap’ identifies most of the technologies we will need, but actively supports only a few of them, has a limited budget, and offers no time schedule.
Much of the world is putting a price on carbon pollution, led by Europe. Even China is getting into the act, having recently put in place the world’s largest carbon market.
Leading economists and economies believe that gradually pricing carbon-emitting technologies out of the market is the best and easiest way to gain the speed we need. Australia’s price on carbon implemented a decade ago appeared to have had the right effect. History shows that the policy didn’t actually damage our economy. In fact, it didn’t significantly change the already increasing retail cost of electricity at that time.
The EU has increased its carbon price in recent years and European economists recognise the need to further increase it to drive more rapidly to net zero. They are concerned however that a rising price will impact the average citizen and disadvantage those least able to afford it.
Canada has hit on a good approach. They have implemented a cost-neutral scheme in which the revenue raised by a carbon fee is returned directly to citizens as a climate dividend. This enables them to afford the rising price of carbon-intensive goods with the opportunity to save money by choosing increasingly cheaper low-carbon alternatives.
Professors Holden and Dixon, from the University of New South Wales, have modeled a climate dividend scheme for Australia. They show that with a $50/tonne price on carbon and an Australian climate dividend, a typical household of two adults and two children would receive around $2,600 per annum tax-free, more than compensating the estimated cost of living increases of $2,035 per annum. This would leave the average family $585 per annum better off, even before adjusting their consumption patterns.
An Australian climate dividend could be Scott Morrison’s dream policy. It rewards citizens for their contribution to decarbonising our economy while giving investors and businesses the price signal they need to phase out of carbon-intensive activities and transition smoothly towards net zero. The dividend stimulates the economy and reduces the mounting costs imposed by climate change. It enables a price to be set on carbon pollution without it being a tax on Australians. It also means Australia can join the global race to zero and eliminate the threat of paying carbon tariffs on exports to the EU and other carbon pricing nations.
This may be the elector-friendly, economy-boosting dream approach that our PM, and Australia, needs.
New NZE Political Strategy Launched at the NZE2050 Conference
Written by Meredith Kraina, CCL Australia member.
On the 28th of March, the CCL Australia launched its Net-Zero Emissions by 2050 political strategy (NZE2050) at its National Conference. At the conference we heard from CCL Australia’s National Director, Rod Mitchell, regarding CCL Australia’s new vision: to inspire Australia to be a part of the global race towards net-zero emissions, comprising three initiatives;
- Establish active chapters in every electorate
- Australian Climate Dividend refocus – putting the dividend front and centre by emphasising the dividend and positioning the fee as the support mechanism
- A new political strategy; to build political will for a liveable world
Rod discussed the importance of having an all-encompassing strategy, the benefits of the Australian Climate Dividend shifting the cost of fossil fuels away from consumers, and its three core components;
- A steadily rising fee on fossil fuels at the source of emissions
- Net revenue that is returned to households equally, protecting lower and middle classes, and keeping the economy moving, incentivising businesses to decarbonise.
- Border adjustments on goods imported or exported to and from countries without an equivalent carbon price – creating a level playing field and influencing other nation-states to adopt a carbon price
For those interested in engaging in lobbying and contacting their members of parliament, Jordan Hodgson offered his expertise providing training tips and strategies on how to influence politicians and have a successful meeting. CCL’s aim is to build long-term relationships with politicians and encourage them to support our goals. “Our methodology is about forming long-term relationships – we want to become a trusted adviser, a policy expert on climate solutions”.
Dennys Agnove, a scientist who formerly worked with The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), spoke to us about global emissions targets, the different climate policies affecting us, the impact of repealing the carbon tax on emissions, and a comparison of emission targets. He highlighted the issues with the way in which Australia reports on emissions across the energy sectors creating a misleading representation of our emission reduction by picking and choosing reference points.
Pam Pitt and Paget Foerster ran us through some workshops exploring the ways to engage leaders in a non-confrontational, respectful, and productive manner that fosters support. They showed the importance of navigating the conversation to get to the main three “Asks”.
The Climate Monthly
Written by Akshay Vallam—CCL Australia Member.
Closure of Yallourn
The biggest brown-coal power station in Australia– Yallourn in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley – will close in 2028, four years earlier than planned. It accounts for a fifth of Victoria’s power supply and pollutes the environment significantly. Unfortunately, its closure will not happen earlier though this timeframe may facilitate its staff re-skilling in new industries, particularly the renewable energy sector. For Yallourn workers, Australia’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Gippsland may be the site of such a transition.
Planners of the $8-10 billion Star of the South wind farm have claimed intent to employ workers made unemployed by Yallourn’s shutdown. Its construction – due 2023-2027 – will generate 5,200 jobs. Once operational, Star of the South will provide 740 ongoing jobs. Chris Bowen – Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy– traveled to Queensland this week and reassured coal workers to this end: the renewable sector will generate new work as the coal economy ends.
EU Tariffs on carbon imports
The European Union (EU) plans to introduce protective tariffs on carbon-intensive imports from Australia and other nation-states with weak emissions laws. Instead of responding by adopting a pathway for net-zero emissions by 2050, Canberra intends to undercut the tariffs. Federal Trade Minister Dan Tehan proclaimed that the Government will deliver an alternate proposal to the World Trade Organisations to slash tariffs on more than 50 environmental goods and services, including wind turbines and solar panels. This move seems not without merit. However, it would be easier to align with our trading partners and adopt the net-zero emissions target.
Paving the way towards net zero in Australia
Andrew Blakers and his team at Australia National University have found that Australia could wipe out 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions – all of those from fossil fuel energy – by 2040 by doubling its wind and solar capacity. Find out more about this here and here.
RepuTex Research has found that NSW – the most coal-dependent state in the country – could reach 100% renewable energy by 2030. The pivot would include substituting 10 gigawatts (GW) of coal generation with 32GW of new wind and solar storage. Moreover, it would require new transmission lines and more renewable energy zones.
Read more about this research here.
Labour’s EV Policy
In recent weeks, Labour has introduced its electric vehicles (EV) policy. This follows a report by the Australia Institute that found the majority of Australians support electric vehicle policies, including subsidies for new EV purchases. The report also found that the Federal Government manipulated data to assert that electric vehicle subsidies were of poor value for money, putting the government under some scrutiny.
Last month after Heavy rains in NSW, the mid-coast had flooded. Videos and pictures of a floating house along the flooded river of Manning near Taree went viral on social media. It is difficult to definitely conclude the direct relationship between climate change and floods or to do this with any extreme weather event ad hoc. Nonetheless, the frequency of extreme weather events has been forecast to increase throughout the history of empirical climate change literature. In the past two years, we have seen two “once in a hundred year weather events”—these floods and the 2019-2020 bushfires. It is important to note that the term “once in a hundred years” does not mean there is precedence in the past 100 years; the term describes that the probability of such weather events taking place or being exceeded in any one year is one-in-100. The increasing proximity of extreme weather events reflects perennial forecasts in climate literature; given these trends, infrastructural problems, such as rising water levels in the Sydney Basin due to Warragamba Dam’s overspill, will become rampant.
Climate Monthly is based on Jenny Goldie’s recent Jottings from her “The Climate This Week” articles.
Wrap Up of the Climate Change Bill
Written by Akshay Vallam—CCL Australia Member.
The Climate Change Bill 2020 aims to ensure Australia has a clear and positive national response to the challenges of climate change through legislation that enshrines into law:
- A net-zero ero emissions target by 2050, via emissions reduction plans and emissions budgets.
- Risk assessments and adaptation policy and strategy to raise knowledge of, and structure local responses to, climate change.
- Technology readiness assessment, to understand existing and emerging ways to reduce emissions, while minimising risk and cost.
- An Independent Advisory Commission to advise the government, transparently and independently, on our national needs and plans.
According to Zali Steggall MP, the Inquiry attracted a record number of submissions across all quarters of society, including individuals, businesses, unions, and non-for-profits. It is a clear reflection of what is necessary for the Federal Government to fulfill its obligation to take meaningful action on climate change.
Read more about the bill and show your support here.
By Lisha Chaves, CCL Australia Member based in Sydney, on Gadigal Country.
Co-written by Peter Todd
Lobby Month and Grasstops (Re) Launch
The entirety of April is a federal parliamentary break for all MP’s and Senators, apart from Ministers. CCL Australia is approaching this as an opportunity to Lobby for our new Net Zero Emission by 2050 political strategy. The main “Asks” are:
- To seek bipartisan and federally legislated target of Net Zero Emissions by 2050—preferably sooner—with a clearly documented process for its achievement, presented by the government at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow on 1-12 November 2021
- Support for the proposed Climate Change Bill (introduced by Zali Steggall MP in November 2020) as one alternative for legislating Net Zero Emissions by 2050
- To commend the Australian Climate Dividend (ACD) as an efficient and transparent instrument for steady emissions reduction.
We have had an excellent start to lobby month, preceded by a Canberra meeting with Hon Chris Bowen MP. Chris Bowen is the new Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy. We congratulated him on his appointment to this important position, then discussed opportunities for bipartisan solutions leading up to COP26, setting a federal net-zero emissions target, and supporting the ACD.
Moreover, a CCL Australia delegation met Hon Ken Wyatt MP, the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Bennelong also met with local MP, John Alexander.
Among others, CCL Australia teams have been trying to line up a meeting with Hon Angus Taylor MP, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. We also have meetings organised with Senators from Qld, NSW, Vic and SA, plus a number of federal MPs. If you would like to help organise a meeting with your MP, please contact Jordyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) for SA, Vic or Tas. Contact Nick (email@example.com) for NSW. Contact Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Qld and Joyce (email@example.com) for WA.
Australian National Conversation Online: 22/@ 8 pm NSW, VIC, QLD, ACT, TAS | 730 pm SA, NT | 6 pm WA
This month’s National Conversation will be held on Thursday, 22nd April at 8PM AEST. Hosted by our National Coordinator Rod Mitchell, join CCL members from around Australia to share your thoughts and opinions. It’s a great way to keep updated on current news topics related to climate change. This month, we will be discussing the implementation of CCL Australia’s new organisational structure, the configuration and actions of our ‘team of teams’, as well as how teams will work together to enable us to achieve our goals. Join the discussion on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/7868786878
The Carbon Challenge:
The lower your carbon footprint, the more of the dividend you’ll take home!
The year is 2025. The Australian Government has just legislated a price on carbon at $50 per tonne, under the Australian Climate Dividend scheme. This means every Australian, with the average carbon footprint (20.86 tonnes) will gain on average $292.50 per year from the dividend while not changing their habits at all. Yet what if they reduced their carbon footprint 5 tonnes, or 10 tonnes per year? It would mean they’d gain an extra $250 or $500 per year respectively!
The challenge is on! Each challenger will receive the token $1,310 annual dividend from the Australian Climate Dividend scheme, and will compete to see who can have the lowest carbon footprint over the one-week period, 17th to 23rd May 2021. We’ll calculate your electricity, gas, transport, food and waste with an easy-to-use app. Whoever can keep their carbon emissions the lowest during the week will maximise their dividend and will be declared the winner of the CCL Dividend Challenge for 2021! Prizes for the Top 5 Challengers.
ENTER NOW For more information, click here
World Earth Day 2021 – Thursday, April 22nd
World Earth Day is a good opportunity to broaden our knowledge on the current problems related to climate change and continue to help the planet. It is a day that reminds us that only together we can mitigate climate change and heal our planet. Earthday’s theme for 2021 is ‘Restore Our Earth’ an apt theme to help counter the continuously deteriorating conditions of our earth. It includes a three-day live event, 20/4 – 22/4.
Per their website, the events will include workshops, panel discussions and other special performances. Focal points include natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems and climate.
Grassroots Tabling Well Received
Written by Lisha Chaves, CCL Australia Member based in Sydney, on Gadigal Country.
The Grayndler Group had its first tabling event for 2021 at the Marrickville Markets on Sunday, 28th of March. The event ended up in a successful day of tabling on after being postponed because of extreme weather forecasts the previous week. It was a great opportunity that enabled volunteers to chat with people about climate change and familiarise the public with CCL Australia. They were able to spread the word about carbon pricing and the Australian Climate Dividend. We were also able to watch a bit of the NZE2050 Conference, which started at 1 PM that day. This provided a more in-depth view of CCL Australia’s work, particularly for the newer members. A highlight of the day was the 20-second introductions, which everyone did beautifully. The Monthly Meeting was held towards the end of tabling, where it was great to hear everyone’s comments and thoughts. Overall, a very successful day at Marrickville, even though the CCL Australia table did have quite a bit of competition from the next stall over selling plums!
Easter Market in Denmark (WA)
The Easter Market in Denmark was held on April 3rd and the CCL Australia shared a stall with the Denmark Environment Centre. Members trialed the new approach of promoting the dividend and it was very well received. There was a ton of good engagement and lots of people were happy to demand their climate dividend from the government.
The display included two wonderful graphics created by Melisha Legget, which makes it very easy to explain how the dividend works. 50 people signed a postcard to their MP demanding their dividend using one or two of the suggested phrases like:
• “I’m sick of paying the costs of fossil fuel pollution”
• “I’m sick of my taxes paying for the damage done by fossil fuels”
• “I want Australia to get to net-zero as soon as possible”
• “I want a clean green world to spend my dividend”
A creative idea by CCL Australia National Chair, Rod Mitchell, was to also use a faux dividend cheque to interest people in the climate dividend. It helped focus people on how they will be benefited if our government adopts the ACD—we get the cheque, a cleaner and greener world to spend it in, a cooling climate, and a feeling of altruism for helping to decarbonise our economy!
Successful Tabling Event by CCL Bennelong
CCL Bennelong also ran a highly successful tabling event on Saturday the 10th of April. They utilised the space at the Eden Gardens Macquarie Park Green Film Festival and Sustainability Markets. Here too, many locals wrote a postcard to their MP demanding their Climate Dividend and a commitment to net-zero emissions.
Homage to Tom
Paying Tribute to Tom Hunt’s Years of Service to the CCL and the Environmental Movement
Written By Jason Am—CCL Australia member based in Brisbane, on Yugerra country.
Last month, Tom announced he would be stepping down from CCL Australia’s National Newsletter coordinator position. I’d meet Tom and my fellow newsletter team over zoom as he set out looking for a newsletter writer. A positive man, he decided to form the Avengers equivalent of a newsletter team (or as the old adage goes, many hands make light work). We are not the highlight of the story; rather it is Tom whom we direct the spotlight towards. To pay him our thanks for the work he had done while he served as not only as an outstanding member of CCL Australia but also as the newsletter coordinator.
Like most here, Tom is extremely concerned with contemporary environmental issues. I wanted to know the source behind his passion since each of us has our own drives. Maybe he was influenced by pioneering authors such as Aldo Leopold or Rachel Carson. Or perhaps, he grew tired of seeing his local natural areas being degraded. He told me, it wasn’t a single book that had influenced him, linking me an unfinished piece he had written in 2011 – his investigation on the science behind climate change. It was apparent his inquisitiveness fueled his passion and brought him here, the same qualities that would make him an outstanding member for CCL according to his peers. I spoke to many and here’s some of what they had to share about Tom:
“Tom stepped up his commitment to CCL big time in the past 2-3 years and has brought a wealth of skills and experience with him. He sees the big picture of climate and what needs to be done and has gone and done many of those things, always with a warm and friendly approach. He is also good at mentoring others into the areas he has initiated and has helped grow CCL’s core group of volunteers. Sometimes he has overdone it but has shown the good sense to step back and recover. Thank you, Tom, for doing it so well!” – Rod Mitchell.
‘’ Tom has embodied the CCL values and has always been a generous soul. He has provided us with thought provoking blogs and produced newsletter[s] to make us proud of CCL. They have been informative and often had that questioning, thoughtful approach, which sits well with the CCL ethos. Great work Tom” – Joyce Erceg.
‘’Tom is a passionate contributor to CCL. He is part of the management team and led the media team and newsletter writing teams, where he led with calmness and patience. Tom has been a mentor to me and many others at CCL.”– Darren Helsby.
Tom, on behalf of the newsletter team and CCL Australia, many thanks for the great work you’ve done. You’ve been a great ambassador for CCL Australia and the environmental movement. Here’s to many more years in tackling climate change.
Below, we have listed some of Tom’s blogs from over the years for your enjoyment:
1. ‘What’s so Tough About a Target?’, 15/12/2020.
2. ‘We Have a Roadmap, but is the Path Clear?’, 18/8/2020.
3. ‘Unions Looking for Jobs‘, 3/8/2020.
4. ‘Looking for Solutions’, 18/5/2020.
5. ‘The Power for Cars’, 9/5/2020.
6. ‘Case Study – Tom’s Renewable Energy Home and Cars’, 9/7/2019.
7. ‘How Stable is the Climate?’, 14/3/2018.
8. ‘Dream Home Lakeside, Oak Flats – Tom Hunt’, 14/1/2018.
Supporting Chapters to Grow… At Large
Written by Joyce Erceg & Jordan Hodgson, CCL Australia members.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 7 years, with supporters in almost all 151 federal electorates in the country. It is one of our major goals to have an active, diverse chapter in each Federal electorate, with sufficient resources to support their development, by October 2023. We recognise it can take an electorate chapter some time to become established and supporters in regional areas may not be as close to a chapter as they’d like to be.
That’s why in 2021, we are creating ‘At Large’ Chapters!
An At Large Regional/State chapter is where volunteers will be able to connect and work together across their state or territory to focus on moving their Members of Parliament forward. Fledgling or smaller electorate chapters can also combine forces and resources with neighbouring electorates to form an At Large area chapter; until such time as an electorate chapter is ready to split off on their own.
In particular, two At Large chapters in WA have been wildly successful under this model. Fremantle and Tangney chapters were joined by Burt, Brand and Canning—as the WA Metro South Chapter—to encourage each other, share relevant information and resources. Hasluck, Perth, and Swan electorate are doing a similar thing, as the WA Metro East Chapter.
To support this approach, we are recommending all At Large and electorate chapters take advantage of the National Monthly Meeting (held on the first Sunday of the month). It is a place where you not only hear from an interesting speaker, but also learn about the latest developments and take part in breakout sessions where you get to know other volunteers better.
You could organise with your chapter to meet in-person and join the National Monthly Meeting together, or choose to dial-in from home. At the end of the main meeting, chapters will be able to then breakout to plan and organise upcoming activities in their area. The more active and established chapters are certainly encouraged to continue meeting as they currently do, in addition to joining the National Monthly Meeting.
Our At Large chapters are ready and just waiting to be ignited, so contact your Regional Coordinator today.
We look forward to seeing you and your chapter at the next National Monthly Meeting on May 2.
Training and Education Team Doing Things the Wright Way
Written by Bill Shute, CCL Australia member based in Clareville, on Garigal Country.
We are pleased to announce that the Training and Education team has been joined by Tony Wright.
Tony joined CCL recently, being impressed by its organisation and inclusive and bipartisan approach. He has been a climate action advocate for many years, as an original member of the Stop Adani movement, a marshall for climate action rallies and a strong supporter of the School Strike for Climate (SS4C).
As a coach and career consultant, Tony has been involved in running workshops for the government and for private organisations for the past 20 years, as well as assisting individuals in their career development. His previous experience has included administrating a professional theatre company, stage management for the Queensland Theatre Company, and handling Arts grants programs for the Federal Government. This has afforded Tony a plethora of opportunities to practice, grow and develop his interpersonal skills with a range of personalities. This is complimented by his graduate diploma in counselling. His skills, qualities and experience are a useful addition to the Training and Education Team.
Written by Trent Whitehand-Willick, CCL Australia member based in Footscray, on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby Australia recently launched its new Intranet site. An intranet site is an internet website that facilitates organisations, businesses and groups to communicate and collaborate. It may serve as a website, communications channel, information management tool, and collaborative space. It streamlines internet-based capabilities, in line with our current trial of Microsoft Teams (see last week’s newsletter). This is CCL Australia’s equivalent of its United States of America counterpart’s “CCL Community“, providing internal training, resources, and general information on CCL Australia activities. The site is to be a central archive for the most essential and up-to-date information and strives to make volunteers more effective in their roles.
The intranet is still under construction, so watch this space!
Written by Sierra Farr and Trent Whitehand-Willick, CCL Australia members based in Melbourne, on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country.
Now is the time to add grasstops to your climate advocacy and help grow political will for our keystone solution, the Australian Carbon Dividend. On the 28th of March, Rod Mitchell officially launched CCL Australia’s Grasstops Engagement Porgram. The Grasstops Team has produced information about the program and training resources, which will be available with the new intranet site.
Accordingly, CCL Australia is looking to bolster its roster; we are looking to fill a number of new volunteer positions to help form the National Grasstops Action Team. They are as follows:
- Deputy Team Leader, Grasstops – key leadership role for the program.
- Grasstops Engagement Coordinator -Various Outreacher, Tracker, Research, and Connector roles to engage and gain the support of national organisations.
- Grasstops Program Coordinator – to support the growth and development of local Groups and their grasstops engagement activities.
- Communications Coordinator, Grasstops – to develop internal and external communications to promote the program and volunteer achievements
- Program Excellence Coordinator, Grasstops – focused on continuous improvement of the systems, processes, and tools.
- Research Coordinator, Grasstops – focused research projects to support the grasstops program.
You can also get involved via your local Group. The CCL Australia provides support to volunteers looking to start a ‘GO’ Team for grasstops outreach in their electorate. All you need is 2-3 volunteers to get the ball rolling.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Grasstops Action Team is looking to encourage interested volunteers to enrol in the program. You can check out this article by Jordan Hodgson from last month’s newsletter for an explanation of the Grasstops’ functions.
For more information, please contact Jordan Hodgson at email@example.com
Helping those affected by NSW floods
Written by Trent Whitehand-Willick, CCL Australia member based in Footscray, on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country.
Emergency services, charities and governments have been clamouring to assist those across NSW and Queensland evacuated from their homes due to the flood. There is help available to those affected, below is a list of options for those who can afford to help and those who need help. For those that cannot afford to help, sharing this information is equally valuable. State governments are urging people to donate responsibly – to not donate unwanted goods.
Please always be sure of the legitimacy of an organisation before making a donation. Do not provide bank details or any personal information to any person or entity that is unknown or untrusted.
You can check that you’re giving to a legitimate charity by visiting the Australian charities and non-for-profits common register.
Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment
The Australian Government has released a Disaster Recovery Payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 per eligible child. It is available to those whose homes are uninhabitable or seriously damaged, whose major assets have been adversely affected, or who have been seriously injured.
Employees, primary producers, or business owners who can demonstrate a loss of income due to the flood, can apply for the Disaster Recovery Allowance.
For more information, click here.
Donate through GIVIT (Recommended)
The New South Wales and Queensland government have stated that to donate much-needed items, head to the GIVIT website, which features a list of needed items compiled by flood and storm-affected people.
You can also donate funds through GIVIT. 100% of donated funds received by GIVIT are used to purchase what storm and flood-affected people and communities need, per the list. Donations can be state-specific or national.
GIVIT also provides the option to ‘donate time’ as a volunteer.
Donate to the Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is appealing for donations to help provide food, household essentials, emergency aid, and psychological care to people affected by natural disasters. They state that $90 “can help supply immediate household essentials for families impacted by disasters and emergencies”.
Donate to the Red Cross’s NSW Floods Appeal
The Red Cross is accepting donations to assist those affected by the floods. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible and will be sued for practical and financial disaster relief, as well as building resilience to future disasters. The Red Cross has stated it will not deduct more than 10% of each donation for operational and administrative costs.
Donate to St Vincent De Paul Society’s Floods Appeal
Vinnies’ Floods Appeal aims to help flood-affected communities by providing food, clothing, household items, as well as practical and emotional long-term support to communities in need.
Donate to Foodbank
Foodbank is appealing for financial donations to provide food and water to flood-affected people.
It calculates that a $35 donation can provide a family with an emergency hamper containing essential food and drinking water.
Donate to Farmers and Producers
Donation centres may have been affected by the floods, and so the Australian Red Cross needs blood donations.
Donate Bedding or Blankets for animals at RSPCA shelters
RSPCA NSW requires bedding and blankets donated to its shelters, to help animals affected by the storms and floods. If you have any to spare, it asks that you drop them off at your local shelter.
Support the #TorresStrait8
Written by Trent Whitehand-Willick, CCL Australia member based in Footscray, on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Country.
The Zenadth Kes (The Torres Strait Islands and surrounding seas) are under threat from rising sea levels. The Traditional Owners of this land have lived in harmonious connection to the islands for 60,000 years. Coastal inundation is currently threatening homes, damaging freshwater supplies, crops, burial grounds and sacred cultural sites.
Subsequently, Torres Strait Islanders are undertaking the Our Islands Our Home campaign to protect their homes. As part of the campaign, eight Torres Strait Islanders have taken a landmark complaint against the Australian Government to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee for failing to protect the Zenadth Kes from climate change.
The case argues that Australia’s inaction on climate change produces conditions that infringe the human rights of Torres Strait Islanders. Demands include that Australia cuts its emissions to 65% below 2005 levels by 2030, phase out coal-based energy production and immediately resource adaption requirements. Canberra is urging the UN to shelve this case. If successful, this landmark case would not only propel Australia to net-zero emissions, it would protect Torres Strait culture and country. It would preclude a significant number of climate refugees. Furthermore, it would garner international recognition for the disproportionate effects of climate change on indigenous communities worldwide.
To support the Our Islands Our home campaign, please click here and sign the digital petition.
You can also donate here
Or send a digital postcard to local member of Parliament for the Torres Strait, Warren Entsch here.
Read more about the crisis here.
In February, we reported that a prominent Canberra building close to Parliament House, and the home of The Australia Institute, will become a canvass for a democratically selected climate-change related mural. The building owner, Ethical Property, commissioned the project to promote climate change advocacy and allowed submissions to be made through Endeavour House, which at least 23 artists submitted designs for. The public was then asked to vote on what mural would canvass the wall.
The winner, Yellow Tailed Cockatoo by James Smalls, was announced last month and is set to be installed this month. His winning illustration features a yellow-tailed black cockatoo, perched on a branch of Banksia intergrifolia, with a symbolic background adorned with the words ‘hope’. Small stated, “My piece draws inspiration from the nature of urgency in the fight for climate change. It also offers an optimistic and hopeful resolve, that the future of our environment is in our hands”.
Full story can be found here.
While we have not had a record number of Letters to the Editor published in the past month, it has certainly been a case of ‘quality over quantity’. In fact, the quality has been so great that, this month there are two tied winners for Letter to the Editor of the Month. Out of the eight letters published since March 16th, we have chosen Particia McAulife’s letter entitled Forests Key to the Future of the Planet (in The West Australian, 16/3/2021) and Brian Measday’s letter entitled Turnbull Sacked (in The Adelaide Advertiser, 9/4).
Interested in writing Letters to the Editor? – drop us a line.
Joyce Erceg Brings More Media Exposure to CCL Australia
Joyce Erceg, the regional coordinator in Western Australia, has made the most of an opportunity to garner more awareness and support for CCL Australia’s keystone policy, the Australian Climate Dividend. This article was featured in Have a Go News (Volume 30, Number 9, Issue Number 349).
Documentary Review: Ice on Fire (2019)
Written by Sierra Farr, CCL Australia member based in Melbourne, On Wurundjeri Country.
This month, we have decided to highlight an interesting documentary exploring the threat of climate change. Ice on Fire (2019) is narrated and produced by environmental activist and actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. Largely centred on examples specific to the United States of America (USA), but alluding to the global scope of climate problems, Ice on Fire explores the devastating impacts of climate change on biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and forced migration – to name a few. For an overview of some of the largest climate-related problems faced by the world’s largest historical emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), this documentary is a good starting point.
Captivating, cinematic and factual- this documentary features a soothing narrator, cool drone shots, and most importantly, legitimate evidence provided by accredited scientists. The experts, and the film, break down complicated science into easily digestible analogies and explanations. Fun Fact! Did you know that one urban farm can more or less hold the same amount of CO2 emitted by seven cars?
Ice on Fire takes aim at politicians and the fossil fuel industry. It addresses concurrent political disenfranchisement, noting that political disengagement and apathy won’t help. The US needs to pivot from a fossil fuel-based economy to a carbon-neutral economy. The urgency is mounting. The director shadows this sentiment with the CO2 Budget Depletion Countdown. It’s a clock that is essentially telling us that we have roughly 14 years to reach net zero emissions to stay below the desired 2 degrees of warming. Going beyond that global temperature increase will lead to even more disastrous effects. This Climate Change Council infographic explains the CO2 Budget really well if you’re interested.
Criticisms pertain to the documentary’s stance on renewable energies. DiCaprio tells us we need to move to “100% renewable energy”. However, he does not address sustainability issues regarding renewable technology. For example, how does a society of over 328.2ml people sustainably source precious minerals for solar panels? How will we recycle redundant technology? Moreover, the film does not mention battery storage in case of solar and wind power shortages.
In California, where the film is set, 100% renewables are more complex and contentious than it’s made out to be. The “expert” that the film draws upon for 100% renewable energy usage is the CEO of Brightnight, a renewable energies company. Make of that what you will.
Ice on Fire aims high and wide but lacks introspective qualities. Nonetheless, it’s a great overview of some of the biggest problems of the Twenty-first Century, in an American context. It acknowledges the challenges ahead, but couches a positive message to viewers: ‘We can do it! We just need to work together.’ It’s a highly engaging hour and thirty-five minutes, all available on Youtube and HBO. Give it a go!
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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.