CCL Australia took a big step forward last weekend by holding our first ever regional conference and lobby days event. Forty people came to Perth from all over Western Australia to train and be informed, and successful meetings with state and federal MPs followed over the next few days, including with our great new CCL volunteers.
Media and communications expert James Lush led off with a powerful vision of WA becoming the renewables centre of the world! He spoke of his work to inspire business leaders to support the vision and how interested they are already.
Atmospheric Chemist Dr Dennys Angove followed with a compelling description of his discovery of CCL and how he has blended his scientific knowledge with his wholehearted adoption of the CCL approach to climate solutions.
Leo Kerr followed with a very engaging story of past technological disruptions and how electric vehicles are set to do the same and sweep away old technologies. Three EV’s were on display in the breaks; a Tesla, a BMW and a 1990’s BMW that was converted to all-electric 8 years ago.
Over 20 new volunteers and supporters joined with 15 more experienced CCLers to learn and be inspired by CCLs approach to creating political will. In a longer session from Dennys Angove they learned about the Suess Effect, a compelling piece of evidence of the human causes of climate change – essentially this relies on the fact that carbon from fossil fuels contain no C14 because of its relatively short half-life and plants are deficient in C13. These isotopes can be measured in the atmosphere along with C12 and show that rising CO2 levels are human induced.
The afternoon workshops on climate advocacy training, writing letters to the editor and and on advocating for carbon fee and dividend policy allowed us to review and share important understandings for the work that is ahead of us.
The final session was an experiment; three groups briefed themselves for their meetings with MP offices the next morning while new volunteers sat in the circle as observer-participants. This proved very successful and gave new members a strong sense of what might happen in MP offices over the next 3 days.
The following 3 days included eight MP meetings, three with Federal and five with State MP/staffers. Three of the meetings were with three key ministries, Environment, Energy and Agriculture. And one of them led to an introduction to the Minister of Mines and Petroleum.
In addition to asking for endorsement for Carbon Fee and Dividend legislation we asked for carbon offsets to be required of Chevron’s high emitting LNG projects in WA.
As an organisation we can now feel confident that the effort of conducting regional conferences across Australia is valuable for our members. The convenience of local conferences and lobby days give many more people the chance to get a taste of what CCL does and how to be part of it, and at the same time up-skills volunteers ready for lobbying and outreach throughout the year, including at our National Conference and Lobby Days in Canberra.
Thank you to the entire WA team for such a welcoming and well organised event, thank you to our special guest speakers and thank you for the fabulous cars!