Peoples Climate Mobilisation calls for action

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Are you coming to the climate protest event of the year this weekend? Thousands of protest events around the globe mobilising hundreds of thousands of people to coincide with the Peoples Climate March in New York City being held just before a UN climate summit at the United Nations headquarters.

Tony Abbott will be in New York to speak at the United Nations on terrorism, yet will not attend the climate summit hosted by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon which will have at least 125 heads of state attending. Australian Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop will be leading the Australian delegation. The summit is designed to build momentum for national and international climate action, including a new global climate treaty that will be finalized in at the UNFCCC talks in Paris at the end of next year.

New York Mobilization organizers say they are looking for “Action, Not Words” at the summit.

“The scale, pace, and power of the organizing happening right now is something that we haven’t seen before,” said May Boeve, executive director of the international climate campaign, 350.org. “People realize that we can’t leave the fate of the planet up to our politicians. We need to come together, raise our voices, and apply pressure where it counts.”

It’s your chance to voice your disapproval of the Abbott Government and their destruction of carbon pricing in Australia, energy efficiency programs and attacks on the Renewable Energy Target, and their continued encouragement and subsidies to mining companies, especially to new coal developments.

Join us in Melbourne

What: People’s Climate March Melbourne – part of a global day of action
When: 11am, September 21, 2014
Where: State Library, then march to Treasury Gardens

For more information see Getup! Melbourne event page, or visit the
People’s Climate Mobilisation Australia to join one of the 107 events being organised around Australia. There are over 2000+ events planned in 150 countries.

September 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm Leave a comment

Moreland increasing tree canopy to combat Urban Heat island Effect

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Moreland Council at it’s September 2014 Council meeting adopted a report on increasing vegetation tree canopy and resolved “to support and fund current initiatives aligned with the management of climate change and the Urban Heat Island Effect.”

The Council report – DCI70/14 REVIEW OF TREE COVER IN MORELAND AND HEAT ISLAND EFFECT (D14/225415) (full text below) – was prepared for the Director of City Infrastructure as a result of a motion by Cr Davidson (full text below) at the July council meeting. It outlines that Council will plant 5,000 trees annually as part of the Moreland Street Landscape Strategy (see Street Trees on Council Website) with the biggest tree suited to an area to be planted to increase canopy coverage. The goal is to plant 30,000 trees across the municipality by 2020.
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September 12, 2014 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

Disruption – the Movie: Peoples march for climate action September 21

Disruption, the Movie is a call to arms to march on september 21 globally to take strong climate action. This is the people’s climate march. It coincides with a meeting at the United Nations in New York by gloabl leaders convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

Consider what you are doing on Sunday 21 September and come along to one of the many street marches taking place around the world.

Check out events for Australia (currently 94 events 8/9/14). The main event is listed as in Melbourne, but you can be sure capital cities and many regional towns will also be on the streets.
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September 8, 2014 at 1:21 am 1 comment

Carbon emissions rise from electricity generation – largest 2 month increase since 2006

The latest CEDEX assessment by Pitt and Sherry shows an increase in Australian electricity demand in June and July with rising supply from coal and gas since the Abbott Government abolished the carbon tax and talked about abolishing or emasculating the Renewable Energy Target with the Warburton Review.

Emissions rose by about 1 million tonnes – about 0.8 per cent. It is the largest 2 month increase since 2006 according to Peter Hannam in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The monthly Pitt and Sherry CEDEX report tracks carbon emissions, electricity contribution from different generator types and electricity demand.

20140902-CEDEX-changes-in-electricity-generation-emissions

The August 2014 report, with data to the end of July, concluded:

With the carbon price having ended and report of the RET Review expected in the next few weeks, it is timely to assess the contribution of the various drivers to the fall in electricity generation emissions since the peak reached in the year ending December 2008. The fall in emissions since then has been 18%, all resulting from the decrease in coal fired generation, making for a relatively simple calculation. Reduced demand has contributed 49% of the total emissions reduction, increased hydro and increased wind each 19%, and increased gas generation 9%. The remaining 4% is attributable to increases in the average thermal efficiency of coal fired generation, as older, less efficient generators have lost market share or been withdrawn from operation altogether. These changes in demand and generation mix are the result of the RET (in its various forms), other pro‐solar factors like falling costs and feed‐in tariffs, higher retail prices, energy efficiency policies and the carbon price. Many of these policy, technological and consumer demand factors remain highly dynamic.

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Abolishing the carbon price and the Warburton review has greatly impacted on business investment certainty in Australia. While there are still some wind and large scale solar projects in NSW and Victoria under construction, after which there is little investment in the pipeline for large scale renewable energy.

This change also signals an increase in the profitability of the coal generators, at the expense of the pollution and social impacts of coal mining, transport and power generation. Just ask the people in Morwell or Anglesea how they feel about the continuation of coal pollution instead of more sustainable and non-polluting energy generation.

The dinosaurs are roaring, but it is stalling the inevitable with reports from the Worldwatch Institute that Renewable Energy at the Tipping Point and according to a Clean Technica report Renewable Energy Momentum Has Passed The Tipping Point.

These fossil fuel companies know their Kodak moment is coming and are trying to extract a little more profit from consumers which will only make people’s willingness and preparedness to transition to alternatives when they are available more prominent.

September 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm Leave a comment

Importance of Climate action motivates Greens Senator Janet Rice

IMG_5972-Janet_Rice-at_North-Melbourne-station-600x680New Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice, who took up office from 1st July, has emphasised the importance of climate change as one of the primary motivations for her as a Senator and legislator in Canberra.

In her first ‘official’ speech she outlined her first moment on her long journey to Canberra after coming out of a 1980 climatology lecture by Dr Barrie Pittock on the greenhouse effect at Melbourne University. The realisation dawned of the serious nature of climate change and its global impact.

“Learning about global warming politicised me.” she said.

It set in place a career in environmental activism (See wikipedia bio) from the Tasmanian Franklin Blockade onwards including being active in East Gippsland forest campaigns, being pivotal in the formation of the Victorian Greens, as well as 6 years on Maribyrnong Council, including one year as Mayor.

“Global warming made me realise that justice wasn’t always done. That governments ignored things they did not want to confront because of powerful vested interests, or because the problems were hard and the benefits of taking action took longer than an election cycle to be realised.”
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September 3, 2014 at 4:54 pm Leave a comment

Wills MP Kelvin Thomson goes into bat for ARENA and renewable energy

DSC03892-CAM-carbonpricing-2nd-birthday-Kelvin-ThomsonFederal MP for Wills, Kelvin Thomson spoke in the second reading debate for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Repeal) Bill 2014 on 28 August 2014 defending the need to maintain low carbon investment support and the Renewable Energy Target.

Thomson highlighted that ARENA has supported more than 190 renewable
energy projects, with more than $1.5 billion in private sector investment. An equal number of renewable energy projects is in the pipeline which might draw up to $5 billion in private sector funding. Rural and regional areas of Australia have benefited through job creation with about 70 per cent of projects in rural and regional areas.

“Experience from renewable energy markets overseas has shown that stable, long-term policy support provides the renewable energy industry with the required incentives to expand the renewable energy market. A clear commitment from the federal government on the policy framework surrounding renewable energy in Australia, such as the renewable energy target, provides the long-term certainty needed to encourage the growth of Australia’s renewable energy industry.”

Globally 144 countries have renewable energy targets in place with 138 support policies, up from 138 & 127 in 2012, while Australia is going backwards abolishing carbon pricing and in winding back renewable energy programs

He attacked the Government for having a “predetermined view of climate change” and that they “do not believe in it—full stop.”

On the Warburton review of the Renewable Energy Target: “The tragedy of the removal of RET is that it will jeopardise around one per cent of GDP in committed capital investment. It is regrettable that we have got a government that is more concerned with the ideological outcome or the vested interest than it is with a sound and visionary policy, which is what the renewable energy target is. This is real sovereign risk, not that bogus sovereign risk levelled at the mining tax or recently by the trade minister when he was talking about the budget in the Senate.” Thomson said.
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September 1, 2014 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

#MarchinAugust for a fairer Australia and climate action

MarchInAugust-IMG_7933-500x550The March in August carries on from the independently organised march in March protests which saw tens of thousands of people protesting the Abbott Government on many social, welfare, and environmental issues. The protests bring together a wide range of campaigns and individuals under one protest umbrella to demand Accountability, Transparency, Decency from the Abbott Federal Government including on climate policy and action.

The protest in Melbourne was held on Sunday 31st August 31 at 1:00pm starting from the State Library of Victoria, Swanston St, Melbourne. (See event Facebook Page).

Guardian columnist VanBadham brought a lot of intense enthusiasm and passion to her role as MC for the protest. Speakers included:
*Ursula Alquier – Lock the Gate Victorian Coordinator
*Julian Burnside – Advocacy on behalf of refugees
*David Ritter- Greenpeace re: “Protest laws” and GBR
*Jennie Hill Dir. Destroy the Joint. Women & Welfare.
*Annette Xiberras – Wurundjeri Elder and a former cultural heritage staff member with Aboriginal Affairs Victoria – Welcome to country and cuts to funding for Aboriginal services.

Report from the march

IMG_7412-tax-polluters-not-health-educationOur Climate Action Moreland banner didn’t make it but many of us were there collecting signatures on the monster climate petition and marching with friends.

Several thousand people attended with a large crowd that marched from the State Library to the steps of State Parliament on Spring Street. It was not as large as the protest in March, but was still substantial with a vibrancy of anger and frustration at the Abbott Government.

David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia spoke at Parliament House saying:

“But as a matter of conscience we must challenge the agenda of this Government. This, my friends, is a government that would abandon the Great Barrier Reef for the coal industry. This my friends, is a government that wants to deny the benefits of solar power and all of the clean energy that beckons. This is a government that would open up new destruction to our forests and to our oceans. This is a government that is actively wrecking progress on climate change.”

Ritter invoked the campaigns to stop the damming of the Franklin River, and oil exploration and drilling on the Great Barrier Reef in the 1980s, and the power of communities to defend green spaces in our capital cities and the more recent campaign to stop the HRL power Station in Victoria.

MarchInAugust-IMG_7998-498x600He urged those at the rally to do grassroots community organisiing by getting involved in local groups: “Take the passion and enthusiasm that brought you here today and take it home with you. Join a local group, join a campaign, join a human rights organisation, join a social justice organisation, join an environmental organisation, join a neighbourhood organisation and reach out to families in your neighborhood, your workplaces, because, men and women of Melbourne, the power and determination of the Australian people will not be stopped. Together we are strong; together we shall prevail; together we shall secure a better, bighter and more prosperous future for our country.”

Jennie Hill from Destroy the Joint outlined a littany of inequalities which women still suffer in Australia, but also highlighted that women will suffer disproportionately more with climate change. “Lack of action on climate change also hits women hardest since the poor of the world will first bear the brunt of rising sea levels and temperatures.” she said.

You can watch highlights and a number of the other speeches on this video list (22mins). See my March in August album at Flickr for images from the protest.

August 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm Leave a comment

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