Newsletter no 5: Senate inquiry, council elections, and more

Senate inquiry, council elections, and more                           View this email in your browser

Welcome to Jesuit Social Services – our 53rd supporting group. “Environmental problems and social injustices are linked. That’s why we’ve signed the Climate Emergency Declaration,” they write on their Facebook page.

We are very close to 20,000 supporters. 19,963 have signed the Climate Emergency Declaration petitions. Will you help us find the next 37 people? Please help by asking your friends to sign and share.



Content of this newsletter

1: Read Disaster Alley and put in a submission to the Senate inquiry
The Senate inquiry is a chance to achieve cross-party support for the view that the climate emergency is the most serious threat we face and we are woefully unprepared. The climate movement and defence experts line up together to advocate for strong action.

2: Council elections coming in NT, NSW, SA and VIC
Currently we know of two climate emergency candidates standing. Please contact us if you know of other climate emergency candidates or if you are interested in helping with producing or using a climate emergency scorecard in your municipality.

3. Darebin City Council to decide on Climate Emergency Plan on 21 August
The public consultation period for Darebin City Council’s 76-page draft Climate Emergency Plan has now closed and feedback from residents is being reviewed and considered in the preparation of the final plan

4. New climate emergency group in Melbourne
A new campaign group has emerged: CACE – Community Action in the Climate Emergency.

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1. Read Disaster Alley and put in a submission to the Senate inquiry
The Senate inquiry on climate change and national security risks is a chance to achieve cross-party support for the view that the climate emergency is the most serious threat we face and we are woefully unprepared. It will be interesting to see what happens as the climate movement and defence experts line up together to advocate for strong action.

About ‘Disaster Alley’
Breakthrough’s 28-page discussion paper ‘Disaster Alley: Climate change, conflict and risk’ looks at climate change and conflict issues through the lens of sensible risk-management to draw new conclusions about the challenge we now face.

» Download and read ‘Disaster Alley: Climate change, conflict and risk’ on www.breakthroughonline.org.au

» Listen to 20-minute radio interview with David Spratt – Melbourne-based author David Spratt talks about ‘Disaster Alley: Climate change, conflict and risk’. More info on climatesafety.info

» Listen to radio interview with Ian Dunlop on ABC Radio National Drive – 21 June 2017: Climate risk

» The Guardian – 21 June 2017:
Australia warned it has radically underestimated climate change security threat

» Canberra Times – 22 June 2017:
Australia, deep in climate change’s ‘disaster alley’, shirks its moral responsibility


Senate inquiry on climate change and national security risks
The Australian Senate has resolved to set up an inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security. It was supported by ALP, Greens and NXT, the government opposed. The motion, which was proposed by Scott Ludlam, said that a committee report investigating the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security should be ready by 4 December 2017.

The committee was assigned to look at the capacity and preparedness of Australia’s relevant national security agencies to respond to climate change risks in our region. The threats and long-term risks posed by climate change to national security and international security include those canvassed in the National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risks and a Changing Climate Report by the United States Department of Defence.

Submissions to the inquiry close on 4 August 2017.

» Find more information on www.aph.gov.au

» Terms of reference

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2. Council elections coming in NT, NSW, SA and VIC
Currently we know of two climate emergency candidates standing in local government elections. The difference that a climate emergency candidate can make to the outcome of a local election is huge. Please contact us if you know of other climate emergency candidates or if you are interested in helping with producing or using a climate emergency scorecard in your municipality. Contact: jane@climateemergencydeclaration.org

Central Coast Council: Another Darebin in the making?
The photos above show candidates who support a Climate Emergency Declaration and are hoping to be elected to the Central Coast Council in the upcoming NSW council elections. They are: Barbara Gorman, Doug Williamson, Cath Connor, Sue Wynn, Stephen Pearson, Kate DaCosta Greens, and Robina Sinclair. If you live in Central Coast area and would like to help with their campaigns, please get in touch with Margaret Hender: margaret@climateemergencydeclaration.org

Election dates:
9 September: New South Wales election for new councils
21 October: Western Australia
28 October: Geelong, Victoria
17 March 2018: South Australia

Not yet convinced whether you’ll stand? Listen to this
Bryony Edwards has been candidate for Save the Planet party in local and state elections. In this seven-minute presentation, Bryony talks about her experience in running for local government and the opportunities it brings for campaigning on the climate emergency.

Not only is the candidate given air and media time and public forums to speak at, they also get to speak directly and indirectly to the other candidates, and to preference the other candidates based on their climate policy. What does it take to be a candidate at the state and federal levels? Some time, money, and resources commitment is needed but it isn’t as hard as it might sound and it’s a great experience, Bryony explains.

» Listen to the audio recording

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3. Darebin City Council to decide on Climate Emergency Plan on 21 August
Darebin City Council has unanimously declared that we are in a state of climate emergency and committed to take strong action to address this. The public consultation period for Council’s 76-page draft Climate Emergency Plan has now closed. Feedback from residents is being reviewed and considered in the preparation of the final plan, which will then be considered by Council at its Council Meeting on Monday 21 August at 6pm.

Gavin Mountjoy, Darebin Council’s Energy and Adapation Coordinator, explains in a reply to one of ten online questions from residents on www.yoursaydarebin.com.au/climateaction:

“The situation we find ourselves in requires an emergency response. For example it will require a total decarbonisation of energy supply (100% renewables, with supporting technologies and move from gas to electricity). A transition to very low or no emissions transport eg hybrid or full electric vehicles (likely autonomous and car sharing) all powered by 100% renewables. Smaller, more efficient and environmental friendly housing and office space will also be a necessity. The list goes on.

Darebin Council acknowledges that it is not sure how this can be achieved and understands that the climate emergency is and will affect the most vulnerable and socio-economically disadvantaged in our community. Council is in the process of establishing the Darebin Energy Foundation, to create a climate think-tank which will help us become a more resilient and a zero emission economy/society.”

» More information about the August Council Meeting here
» Download the Summary (PDF, 8 pages, 2.5MB) or the Draft plan (PDF, 76 pages, 5.4MB)
» Listen to an interview with Darebin’s mayor and information about what other councils have been doing on:
www.climateemergencydeclaration.org/mav2017

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4. New climate emergency group in Melbourne
A new campaign group has emerged: CACE – Community Action in the Climate Emergency. The starting point for the group is that positive action on the climate emergency at council level can help build pressure on higher levels of government for meaningful action to reverse global warming.

The group has so far has delivered five climate emergency forums in Melbourne and they are planning 20 more.

The CACE website contains, among other items, a guide for councils that would like to follow Darebin Council’s pioneering footsteps.
CACE also has a message for you:

Get your council to declare a climate emergency
CACE can provide templates and advice on getting your Council to declare a climate emergency. Here are the main steps:

  1. Encourage your local climate action network and other groups to sign on to the Climate Emergency Declaration and the local government approach.
  2. Encourage your councillors and council candidates to make the Climate Emergency Declaration. You might start with the most climate friendly councillors, but don’t underestimate the ability of all councillors to respond positively to a well-crafted climate emergency argument (councillors don’t receive carbon industry kickbacks!). Tell them about the work happening in Darebin and elsewhere.
  3. Encourage your council to declare a climate emergency. You may have to wait for a turnover in councillors for ultimate success but the effort should begin as soon as possible.

More details here

» Read more on www.caceonline.org and www.facebook.com/groups/

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Thanks for all your help so far.

Warm regards,
Jane, Mik and the rest of the Climate Emergency Declaration petition team





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