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Labor Expanding gas extraction in Victoria against the climate science

The Labor State Government has been pro-active with some climate action and the energy transition in Victoria, but on gas the Government still subscribes to the view that gas production needs to be expanded, that gas is a transition fuel.

Minister for Resorces Jaala Pulford answering a question on Beach Energy gas well under the 12 Apostles

This is despite key several scientific and energy assessments that argue that no more new fossil fuel projects should be embarked upon.

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September 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment

Wills voters overwhelmingly want climate action as does the rest of Australia

Poll: climate action by Wills citizens
Poll: climate action by Wills citizens

A new poll of 15,000 Australians conducted by YouGov for the Australian Conservation Foundation has found that a substantial majority of Australians want governments to take climate action and set ambitiuos interim climate targets, and stop funding coal and gas.

Citizens in Moreland as part of this poll showed a much greater concern than the national average on all the question polled.

Conclusions. Compare results Wills and National averageWills National Average
Voters believe greater climate action will help nature and wildlife survive extreme weather.84% 79%
Voters do not believe that new coal or gas power stations should be a priority for the federal government.78%71%
Voters believe the federal government need to be doing more to address climate change.79%67%
Voters say Labor and Coalition plans for climate action will influence their vote.76%67%
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September 1, 2021 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

Moreland Olympian highlights climate action

Local Moreland Olympian Rhydian Cowley was interviewed by Ticker News recently. He highlighted the importance of athletes in their brief time in the public spotlight to advocate for climate action to keep our planet habitable in response to the climate crisis.

Rhydian Cowley is a champion Australian race walker. He competed in the 2016 Olympics for Australia and will be soon attending the Tokyo Olympics as part of the Australian Olympic Team. He will be participating in the 50km race walk event, one of the longest, most gruelling of Olympic events.

Rhydian is also a Sports Environmental Alliance ambassador which seeks to empower sport to do more in reducing sports carbon footprint, and is also a member of the Ecoathletes international organisation.

Rhydian Cowley articulates that much of the value of individual actions is the grassroots moment it builds for bigger climate action in government and organisational policy-making, and how it can scale when many people take action.

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June 8, 2021 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Campaigners prevent Synthetic Pitch for Hosken Reserve

Photo: Coutesy Jerry Galea. Save Hosken Reserve outside Moreland Council

At Moreland Council meeting on 12 May 2021 a compromise motion was put forward which dumped the proposal for a synthetic soccer pitch for Hosken Reserve.

This is a substantial win against synthetic turf for Hosken Reserve. This issue was won by determined local residents. We are proud that our Climate Action Moreland submission highlighted real issues such as life-cycle carbon footprint and urban heat island impact with synthetic turf, and assisted arguments put forward by residents against the original proposal.

The Conversations Caravan Engagement report (Except of Hosken Reserve item and Engagement Report PDF) basically highlighted and validated the concerns of residents, particularly the inappropriateness of an expanding sports hub in the middle of a residential area.

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May 15, 2021 at 2:06 am Leave a comment

Moreland Council endorses Fossil Fuel Treaty

At the Council meeting on Wednesday night (12 May 2021) Moreland Councillors voted to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, being the first city, shire or municipal government to do so in Australia.

John Englart for Climate Action Moreland said “Well done to Cr Pulford and Bolton for moving and seconding the motion and for those Moreland Councillors for taking leading action in voting for Moreland Council to join this international campaign that is gaining moment.”

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May 13, 2021 at 4:31 pm Leave a comment

Federal budget embeds fossil fuel expenditure on gas and CCS escalating climate crisis

Photo: Fund our future not gas Courtesy AYCC

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the 2021 Federal budget with lots of suger announcements on increased aged care spending, increased child care funding, women’s physical safety & economic security, NDIS, mental health, road infrastructure, and vaccine rollout.

But on addressing the climate and environment crisis, funding gas expansion continues and environment and conservation funding declines. This reinforces that the Federal government budget is for the short term, an election budget, failing to enact long term solutions for the climate crisis and the biodiversity crisis in Australia.

It wilfully ignores the intergenerational cost on our kids and future generations climate change impacts will incurr.

During the budget speech Josh Frydenberg said:

“In this budget, we are investing a further $1.6 billion to fund priority technologies, including clean hydrogen and energy storage…. This budget provides over $480 million in new funding for the environment, including $100 million to protect our oceans.” he also said the government is “on a pathway” to net zero “as soon as we possibly can”, which he says the government would like achieved preferably by 2050.”

Latika Bourke, Net zero ‘preferably’ by 2050, says Frydenberg, The Age

From a climate perpective the budget is deeply disappointing, as it fails to capitalise on Australia’s natural renewable energy advantages, or set Australia up as an emerging renewable energy powerhouse. It panders to vested interests in the fossil fuels industry. While it talked of wanting to reduce emissions and create jobs at the same time, it missed big, obvious, common sense opportunities to do so.

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May 12, 2021 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

New Victorian interim climate targets welcome but underwhelming

Victoria Interim Emissions Target – Sydney Road Street Party 2020

Today the Victorian Government announced the interim emissions reduction climate targets for 2025 and 2030. This announcement has been delayed for over a year due to the pandemic.

The targets announced are to reduce emissions by 28-33 per cent by 2025 and 45-50 per cent by 2030.

Awesome you say? 50 percent reduction by 2030, similar to what President Biden announced at the Biden Climate Summit on April 22. Not so fast.

The Independent Expert Panel recommended Victoria set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of:

  • 32-39% below 2005 levels in 2025 and
  • 45-60% below 2005 levels in 2030.

Even this was not consistent with keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees, and the numerous risks enumerated in the IPCC Special Report on Global warming of 1.5C1.

The Combet Review identified emission cuts of at least 43% by 2025 and 67% by 2030 to have any chance of limiting warming to 1. 5°C, yet justified lower targets, even though there is scientific research3 that indicates there are several dangerous tipping points that should require substantial risk minimisation in setting ambitious targets. Read our submission from July 2019.

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May 3, 2021 at 1:19 am Leave a comment

Synthetic Turf and the Tragedy of the Commons in Moreland

Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill
Synthetic Turf has high embedded carbon footprint, ends up as waste in landfill

Climate Action Moreland has done a literature review to highlight the general environmental, social and health issues with synthetic turf, and specific issues around a proposal to convert unfenced grass sporting fields at Hosken Reserve in Coburg North to a fenced synthetic soccer pitch. This is the text of our submission to the Moreland Council engagement consultants employed for public consultation to inform the Hosken Reserve Refresh project for Moreland Council.

We have also reported on our blog separately on synthetic turf carbon footprint and total life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, and on the impact synthetic turf will likely have on the urban heat island effect on local residents.

Conversion of natural grass to Synthetic turf at Hosken Reserve should be considered as a catalyst issue for opposing increasing synthetic turf generally in our municipality. We are also very concerned with increasing State Government funding of school oval conversions increasing heat stress risk for children and heating the local microclimate affecting both children and local residents, against expert advice. (See Madden, et al, 2018 (Cool Schools), Pfautsch et al, Sept 2020 (School Microclimates))

We acknowledge the work done by local Merlynston residents on this issue to Help Keep Hosken a place for Community in defence of their grassed open space which they have been quite willing to share the use of with Sporting Clubs as Commons space.

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April 11, 2021 at 4:46 pm 2 comments

How will Synthetic turf impact urban heat island and microclimate around Hosken Reserve?

2016-Alm-naturalgrass-vs-artificial-surface temps-HongKong

Synthetic turf surface temp heat profile compared to natural grass (Hong Kong) – Alm 2016

Adding a synthetic pitch to Hosken Reserve will increase the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), reduce the Cool Park effect, and be felt mostly strongly by local residents. Artificial turf elevated temperatures will affect playability and heat stress to players, and not only in Summer but also for warm days in both Spring and Autumn when the temperature is elevated. Our Melbourne summers are getting longer.

For the most part it is local residents that would need to live with this permanent impact on increased microclimate temperatures over summer months and during warmer days in Spring and Autumn. Urban Heat island effect is more prominent during the night than during the day. This will likely increase evening energy use from air conditioners of local residents which will have a feedback of putting more heat back into the local environment.

Our temperature research at Hosken Reserve natural grass oval and Clifton Park synthetic pitch shows on a warm day (around 30C as per BOM records) the surface temperatures on the synthetic pitch are regularly 80-90 percent greater than natural grass, and may on occasion reach double the temperature of grass.

Moreland’s heat vulnerability is already at a high level, synthetic turf will contribute more heat when we need to be trying to cool our suburbs through green infrastructure. Moreland Council needs to find cooling solutions not exacerbate the problem with converting a much loved community shared grass oval to a fenced synthetic pitch.

Climate Action Moreland has had an interest for several years in urban heat island effect and how it is magnified by the rising temperatures of climate change and urban densification and development.  This post draws upon past literature reviews and a recent science literature survey associated with artificial surfaces and the urban heat island effect that formed part of our submission on the Hosken Refresh consultation.
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April 3, 2021 at 1:52 am 2 comments

Melbourne’s shrinking winter, expanding summer

Change in the season length with rising temperatures for Melbourne. Source: Australia Institute

The Australia Institute have researched the change in the season length for capital city and regional towns due to the rise in temperatures from Climate Change. Our winter seasons are shrinking, summer seasons are lengthening.

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April 3, 2021 at 12:35 am 1 comment

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