DCAN was born when a group of local residents met around Carol Ride’s dining room table in 2006 to talk about how they might contribute to raising community awareness of the risks posed by climate change. One of the triggers for their meeting was the publication earlier the same year by Philip Sutton, another local resident, and co-author David Spratt of their call for climate action, the book Climate Code Red. Carol’s group decided to organise Climate forums in the Federal electorates of Melbourne and Cooper (formerly Batman) prior to the Federal election of 2007. Both meetings took place and were well-attended.
Carol’s group subsequently adopted the name Darebin Climate Action Now, and continued to organise Climate forums, and other climate-related activities. They combined with several other local climate groups to form a Climate Emergency Network, which gave way in around 2010 to the Victorian Climate Action Network (VCAN). Members of DCAN played leading roles in VCAN’s campaign Vote Climate.
Jane Morton, an early member of the group, in 2018 published Don’t mention the emergency? Making the case for climate action. This booklet serves as an invaluable guide to climate action, and is available from this website.
DCAN members were active in the campaign to close the Hazelwood power-plant in the LaTrobe valley, and also led off a campaign to persuade Darebin Council to declare a ‘climate emergency’. Prior to the Council elections of 2016, seven of the nine successful candidates for the Darebin Council pledged support for the declaration, and the new Council at their first meeting on 5 December that same year, became the first governing body in the world to do this.
Several neighbouring Councils followed closely on Darebin’s heels, and over 1,900 governing bodies in 34 nations, including several national governments and parliaments, have now done the same.
The French energy company, Engie, closed Hazelwood in 2017.
Despite the fact that Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, in 2021 called on all world leaders to declare a climate emergency until net zero global emission should be reached, the outcome of the latest UN Climate meeting in Glasgow (COP26) was disappointing. In the closing days of the conference, participants voted Australia the globe’s number one ‘Colossal fossil’, so there is still work to be done.
In view of the evidence that our continent is heating faster than most of the rest of the world, and of the fact that we are more subject to bushfires, drought, and flood than most other places, climate campaigning here is doubly important. This is so not only for the sake of Australians alive today and to come, but as a simple expression of global citizenship.
DCAN is a formally incorporated association and conducts its business in accordance with Victorian law. We hold an Annual General Meeting each year to elect office bearers (our Executive), and a Planning group.
The Planning Group meets on the first Thursday evening of every month. During Melbourne’s COVID lockdowns we moved to holding these meetings online and will probably continue this practice. Many of DCAN's activities are conducted in small working groups which form around particular issues and tasks as these arise. While the wider group of our supporters are welcome to take part in these meetings, they tend to do so only when we include visiting speakers in the program.
The main communication channels between our Executive, the Planning group and supporters are a monthly newsletter, The DCAN Dispatch, which goes to everyone who signs up on our website. We also run an active Facebook page, and group. Each of these channels distributes information on relevant events, opportunities for taking part in climate activities, and climate news.
If you are interested in joining our Planning Group and/or any of our working groups, please contact us at [email protected].
Convener: Ann Sanson
Deputy convenor: Jane Morton
Secretary: Karen Large
Treasurer: Keith Talbot
To contact any of the officers above email [email protected]