On Wednesday a delegation of 5 members of Climate Action Moreland met with our Federal MP for Wills: Peter Khalil. Peter was elected in 2016 in a tight race against Greens candidate Samantha Ratnam to replace retiring Labor MP Kelvin Thomson. Kelvin had a record of being a champion in both the ALP caucus and in government for strong climate action. We are hoping Peter Khalil will continue this leadership record on climate change.
On Monday you might have heard that up to 1000 people rallied at Treasury Place in Melbourne in protest of the leaked announcement that the Federal Government was funding the Adani Coal mine rail infrastructure to the tune of one billion dollars from the Northern Infrastructure fund to build the $2.2 billion rail line. Climate Action Moreland members were there.
The second week of COP22 in Marrakech Australia received a Fossil of the Day award for comments that Josh Frydenberg made, and also shared a fossil as one of the countries expanding fossil fuel production that is incongruent with meeting the temperature targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
This was a funny UN climate conference: for 3 days there were no nominations at all, whether this is due to poor intelligence or countries simply getting on with the tasks at hand and negotiating in good faith.
Climate Action Moreland, after discussion on our email list, has joined with over 40 NGOs at COP22 in Marrakech in a statement on Beyond coal: Scaling up clean energy to fight poverty.
Climate Action Moreland has campaigned for energy transition from coal to renewables in Victoria, but we think Australia’s export coal is also a huge problem, especially when it is justified on the grounds of reducing poverty.
Climate Action Moreland has made a submission to the Senate Inquiry on the Retirement of Coal-Fired Power Stations. It is reproduced below.
Our submission discusses and is guided by the following principles:
- Australia needs to rapidly transition to zero net emissions. The closure of coal fired power stations is an essential first step in this process.
- All of Australia’s communities need to plan a transition to a zero net emissions society based on 100% renewable energy and slashing energy wastage through energy efficiency and conservation.
- Communities that rely on coal power need a just transition plan that will not only mitigate the job losses experienced, but also help transform their economies to allow their communities to prosper in the future.
- In conjunction with the closure of coal-fired power, governments must complement these policies with strategies to ensure that our electricity systems are secure and reliable, and that electricity is affordable for all Australians.
- Rather than relying predominantly on market mechanisms, the transition will also require national planning, strong regulations and direct government investment and ownership.
The official announcement of Hazelwood’s future has been made by French company Engie on the eve of the Paris Agreement coming into force and the start of the UN climate conference COP22: Hazelwood will close by end of March 2017.
Hazelwood is Australia’s, indeed the industrial world’s, most polluting power station.
We should celebrate this as a definite climate win. Climate Action Moreland, along with many other community groups, have been campaigning for closure of Hazelwood with a just transition for the workers and community since 2009.
Now we need a co-ordinated state and national plan to manage the energy transition to ensure just outcomes for workers and communities. There are more jobs in total in renewables, but they are unlikely to be in the same places as existing coal dependant communities. So we need to assist communities in this transition.
The Moreland Council election results are now available from the VEC website, with another strongly progressive and green Council set for the next four years to 2020.
The Greens will have 4 Councillors in the new Council, with Labor aligned Councillors numbering 3, Independents 3, and Socialist Alliance 1.
Ten of the eleven new councillors responded to the Climate Action Moreland survey on climate and sustainability. Five of the new councillors went a step further and endorsed the climate emergency declaration.
Congratulation in particular to Greens member Mark Riley, a long-time member of CAM – who has been elected for South ward. We know Mark will be pushing for Moreland to take a much stronger stand on climate change.
Sue Bolton has also been highly supportive of strong emissions reduction and climate adaptation policies. Sue has been an invaluable Council member in helping CAM with its various campaigns (fossil fuel divestment, heat wave relief, endorsement of People’s climate march).
The Greens stood on a united policy platform that included many sustainability principles including: creating the Urban Forest, bringing integrity to council, a new hub for the Arts, stopping poor quality development, funding safer walking and cycling paths, and a clean and safe local environment.
We appreciated the positive support generally from all councillors in the last term on climate change related decisions. We look forward to working with ALL the councillors on furthering climate and sustainability issues in Moreland.