News December 2016
A message from our President:
As 2016 ends, it’s time to take stock and have some rest and relaxation with friends and family. It’s been a tough year for all of us in climate campaigning - from the largest mass bleaching of the Reef in January to the federal policy chaos of this month.
Throughout, we excelled as a safe climate and clean energy action group. Our membership continues to rise and the commitment of our members remains strong – seen at networking events like the end-of-year party last Friday, in meetings with MPs, attendance at workshops, and in the policy submissions we make. Without doubt, our high point was the federal election. We attended forums, took to the streets with letterboxing, held two ‘Pollution-Free Politics’ rallies, staged a flash action to greet the deputy PM, and even launched a new website. We may not have changed the outcome in 2016, but just wait until 2019!
2017 is shaping up to be another big year. Our work with Council in urging them to become more engaged with our community on sustainability issues, to make ours a truly transition region, is an example. We will again be wearing out shoe leather with a Solar Citizens post card campaign. There are tremendous opportunities in the transition to clean energy. Not only is it inevitable, it may still be able to secure a barely-safe climate, and will create new jobs and modernise the economy. The support is there - 76% of swinging voters are concerned about climate change.
We are there - our membership is our strength. We must remain active - activism is the rent we pay for living on Mother Earth. I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
President, CCA Hastings
Farewell Elizabeth & John:
Most of you will be aware that our previous Co-ordinator, Elizabeth Raine and our former Treasurer, John Squires have resigned from the CCA Committee as they will be relocating to Perth in 2017. The current Committee recently had dinner with them to say THANKS for everything & to wish them well for the future:
Getup Campaign – Adani Rail Line Decision:
We present you with this ‘honest’ government advert about the state-of-the art Carmichael coal mine. A cutting-edge energy source straight from the 19th century! Have a laugh (maybe even a little cry), then rage-share the video with as many people as you can. (LANGUAGE WARNING: There are a couple of dirty words in this one, but they're not nearly as dirty as Adani's coal mine will be! And the cheeky tone of the video makes it ripe for a Facebook audience.) Please watch & share this, because people need to know the truth!
North Coast energy forum:
In November several of attended this Forum in Coffs.
From left – Harry Creamer, Anne Wilson, Stuart Watson and Alicia Bales.
1. If you haven't already seen it, you may want to watch the State of the Climate 2016 summary video
2. Did you see Matthew Evans’ For the Love of Meat on SBS TV?
It was the final episode, and it was on beef production. He included some startling scenes and stats on land clearing in QLD – very rare for prime-time TV (and followed it up with a street-theatre consumer exercise.) You can see it here:
Decarbonisation & politics - making it matter to voters:
The annual Climate institute survey shows that 75% of the public agree with the concept of climate change. On the other hand it doesn’t rate as a top 3 issue with voters. For those of us that think it’s a relatively urgent issue the challenge is how to make it front of mind for voters. Read more at RenewEconomy: http://reneweconomy.com.au/decarbonisation-politics-make-matter-voters-17525/
As the year closes, here are 18 ‘Good News’ stories from 2016 to revisit:
1. The Paris Agreement became the fastest (and largest) United Nations treaty to go from agreement to international law in modern history. CBS
2. Global carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels did not grow in 2016. It’s the third year in a row emissions have flatlined. Scientific American
3. Thanks to rapid technological innovation, renewables now account for more installed capacity than any other form of electricity in the world, including coal. Gizmodo
4. The Chinese government placed a ban on new coal mines, created new rules for grid access and doubled its renewables targets for 2020. WRI
5. India announced it won’t need any new coal plants for the next three years because it’s flush with generation capacity. Times of India
6. In April, the UK’s Chatham House released a report saying “Big Oil is screwed.” Chatham House
7. In the same month, 25% of European countries announced that they had quit coal. EcoWatch
8. The BRICS New Development Bank approved $1 billion in renewables investments in China, Brazil, South Africa, and India. RT
9. In 2016 Costa Rica ran solely on renewable energy for over 100 days. Now it’s aiming for an entire year with no fossil fuels. The Independent
10. In July, the USA, Mexico, and Canada committed to getting 50 per cent of their electricity from renewables by 2025. Their leaders also nailed the awkward handshake thing. Time
11. A new report showed that China reached peak coal in 2014. A landmark moment in the fight against climate change that was reported by every media outlet on the planet. Right? Guardian
12. China installed 20GW of solar in the first half of 2016, three times as much as during the same period a year ago. Reuters
13. In October, the International Energy Agency reported that half a million solar panels were installed each day around the world in 2015. It also drastically increased its five-year growth forecast for renewables. IEA
14. In the same month, 197 countries agreed to drastically reduce their use of HFCs, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed to measures to combat the impact of flying on greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific American
15. The world’s biggest offshore wind farm received the go ahead for its second phase. Guardian
16. Mexico announced $6 billion in renewables investments, Argentina $2.7 billion, Scotland connected underwater turbines to its grid for the first time, and solar energy generated more power than coal in the United Kingdom. Independent UK
17. In November, India unveiled the world’s largest solar power plant, and revealed that it is now on track to be the world’s third biggest solar market in 2017. Al Jazeera
18. And in the same month, the United Kingdom agreed to phase out coal by 2025, France said it would get there by 2023, and Germany promised to reduce emissions by 95% by 2050. Guardian
And finally, some snaps from our very successful end-of-year party: