In conjunction with City of Moreland Council proceeding with a divestment process, Climate Action Moreland and 350.org have also written a joint discussion paper. We hope this provides useful independent information for council officers and Councillors to consider in moving the divestment process forward.
The summary of the paper states:
This report presents research undertaken since October last year by 350.org and Climate Action Moreland after the City of Moreland’s historic decision to commit to divesting from fossil fuels.
The major discussion points covered include:
- Moreland’s action is in line with progressive local governments around Australia and the world.
- For implementing fossil fuel divestment the publicly available research of the Market Forces organisation is sufficiently robust – and does not impose significant risks on the council – when used for the purpose of determining whether a financial institution finances fossil fuel developments.
- There is significant existing opportunity to shift council’s term deposit investments under current risk management guidelines to have a much greater proportion of invested funds held by institutions that do not invest in fossil fuels.
- Moreland council’s current investment policies for term deposits vary from other Victorian councils. As part of developing a fossil fuel divestment strategy they should be examined and justified to ensure they are not unnecessarily blocking fossil fuel divestment.
Download and read the discussion paper: City of Moreland Fossil Fuel Divestment Discussion Paper: 20150212 City of Moreland Divestment Discussion Paper
Many members of the Moreland community are proud that Moreland Council is one of the first municipal councils in Australia to start this divestment process and it accords well with the strong progessive leadership shown tackling greenhouse emissions with the launch of the Zero Carbon Moreland plan, increasing heatwave response, and mitigating urban heat island increased temperatures through increasing the urban tree canopy and other policies.
Global Divestment Day 13-14 February
On Saturday 14 February Melburnians are invited to attend a global divestment day event. Details: Our intrepid reporter John Englart reported the debate live via twitter:
14 Feb – 11:00 AM
Star Lawns, Alexandra Gardens, behind the boat-sheds
A colourful, family friendly celebration of the Australian divestment movement. Come dressed in orange to be part of a GIANT human sign spelling the word ‘divest’. The sign will form part of the phrase ‘fossil fuels=history, renewables= future DIVEST’, being put together by different cities all round the world.Hear from speakers involved in divesting their religious organisations, local councils, health bodies and universities. Chat to local campaigners about divestment happenings in Melbourne whilst nibbling on delicious orange treats. Cap off the day by joining other divestors to move your money out of the Big 4.
The Report and recommendations were a result of an in principle decision by Council on divestment at the October 2014 meeting, the culmination of a year long grassroots campaign by Climate Action Moreland and 350.org Australia.
Councillor Bolton moved an amendment to include both positive and negative filters and for a draft of the policy to be issued for community consultation. The Amendment was defeated.
The recommendations were then put to the meeting and overwhelmingly passed.
The motion read:
Council resolves to:
- Note that Council has no direct investments in companies that invest in fossil fuel projects, which is a key point of difference with the other organisations that have recently committed to a divestment strategy.
- Adopt a positive screening approach for Council’s investment with financial institutions:
- Actively invest with fossil free financial institutions within the Moreland City Council Investment Policy parameters;
- Advocate for fossil free financial institutions to improve their credit rating and financial rate of return;
- Work with large banks to improve their CSR and fossil free performance.
- Develop a Fossil Fuel Divestment Strategy based on the positive screening approach by June 2015 that will include the following:
- A summary of Council’s investments, financial services arrangements and loans.
- Strategies, actions, parameters and timelines of the best options to move Council’s investments to financial institutions that do not finance fossil fuel projects.
- A framework to maintain ongoing reporting and review of council’s banking to minimise indirect financing of fossil fuel projects and maintain public confidence that council is keeping its commitments.
You can read the full report as extracted from Moreland Council agenda for 11 February 2015: 20150211-DCS715-Fossil-Fuel-Divestment-options report and recommendation.
Our intrepid reporter John Englart reported the debate live via twitter:
Don’t be fooled by the cool January we have experienced, temperatures are warming up. Melbourne experienced it’s coldest January in 10 years despite the initial couple of extreme heat days at the start of the month. Although Melbourne’s average maximum temperature of 25.9 degrees was the same as the long term average, the average minimum temperature was 1.6 degrees higher than the long term average.
In previous years the average maximum temperature for Melbourne was 28.6 degrees in 2014, 27.3 in 2013 and 27.4 in 2012. The January average minimum temperature was 15.9 degrees, the lowest since 2005, and above the long-term average of 14.3 degrees.
The start of January saw two Heat Health alerts issued by the Chief Health Officer: one for 2nd January and again on the 7th January. Read more about Victorian Heat Health alert system which is triggered when the daily average temperature is predicted to meet or exceed the threshold temperature for that region. For Melbourne it is 30 degrees.
January also saw extensive periods of cloud cover that brought double the January average of rain to some parts of the state. While the rain is welcome, it also increases plant growth which can dry out and become fuel for bushfires.
High temperatures and heatwave conditions are forecast to hit much of Australia and Victoria in the next week. Temperatures in the low and mid 30s and perhaps into the 40s for northern and western districts, are forecast over the weekend and early next week. This will provide good conditions for drying out all that extra plant growth making it more susceptible to burning.
“‘If you get two weeks of really hot weather, that will just burn off,” Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said, “It’s dependent on the temperatures. If we have moderate winds every day, that will dry the landscape.” reported the Age.
Some of Victoria’s worst bushfires have occurred in early February during extreme heat after previous extensive drying of the landscape.
Keep cool, keep hydrated, and keep safe over hot periods. This applies especially to children, the elderly, and those with existing medical or psychiatric conditions. During business hours Moreland Council Libraries and public offices can be used for respite from the heat.
While summer maximum temperatures have been slowly increasing in Melbourne, the long term from 1910 trend shows a much greater increase in minimum temperatures. January’s mild temperatures reflected this trend. These two graphs show data gathered from Melbourne BOM regional office:
As January maximum temperatures spike into the high 30s and low 40s (degrees Celsius) and minimum overnight temperatures approach 30 degrees, we have had our first Heat Health alert issued by the Victorian Department of Health for 2015.
On Friday 2 January 2015 heatwave conditions enveloped much of southeast Australia with temperatures reaching 43.3C in Adelaide and 38.7C in Melbourne.
Overnight temperatures on Friday night (2 January) hovered about 30 degrees in Melbourne and 24.5C in Adelaide. These minimum temperatures are more than enough to disrupt sleep adding to heat stress and associated heat-related health emergencies. (see Grunstein, Too Hot to Sleep? Here’s why, The Conversation, 8 January 2013).
Although Melbourne was predicted to exceed 40C on Saturday (3 January) the temperature only reached 37.7C at 3.30pm. That afternoon a storm front brought some rain and relief, a cool change plunging the mercury just before 6pm.
The new Victorian Government has moved quickly to ensure the continuance of the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme that the previous Liberal Government were preparing to abolish.
Increasing energy efficiency provides a double saving of reducing green house gas emissions and energy costs. It is one of the main methods the International Energy Agency suggests as necessary for tackling carbon emissions, already making a substantial contribution to mitigation efforts, even in Australia.
Energy and Resources Minister Lily D’Ambrosio announced on 19 December 2014 that the Victorian Government will retain the Victorian Energy Efficiency Target (VEET) scheme which will save 2000 jobs.
“Energy efficiency is one of the best ways for homes and businesses to reduce bills and greenhouse gas emissions.” said Lily d’Ambrosio.
Climate Action Moreland congratulates the election of the Daniel Andrews led Labor Government in Victoria and are hopeful for strong progress on climate mitigation and adaptation programs at the State level with this new Government.
We also congratulate Labor MPs Jane Garrett (Brunswick), Lizzie Blandthorn (Pascoe Vale) and Frank McGuire (Broadmeadows) on being elected to the Legislative Assembly to represent the citizens of Moreland.
Our congratulations also to our MPs elected to the Legislative Council for Northern Metro region:
- Jenny Mikakos and Nazih Elasmar (Labor)
- Craig Ondarchie (Liberal)
- Greg Barber (Greens)
- Fiona Pattern (Australian Sex Party)
Our thanks to all the candidates who attended our climate forum for the election to explain their party policies and personal views on taking effective action in tackling climate change. These public forums are important avenues for direct community debate.
As an active community group we endeavour to have robust discussion and debate on climate action with all our representatives from every level of government: from Local Councillors, State MPs, to our Federal MPs and Senators.
We look forward to working and engaging positively with ALL our elected State Government representatives over the next 4 years to bring about substantive action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
In particular, as residents of Moreland this means the impact of increasing temperatures and heatwave events and increase in intensity of storm events.