Welcome to the April edition of the DCAN Dispatch, packed with information, events and ways for you to get involved in your local climate movement!
Safeguard Mechanism legislation is a step forward, but so much further to go
In late March, after months of hard campaigning by many climate groups including DCAN, the government passed legislation to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism which limits the emissions of the 215 most polluting facilities in Australia. The legislation was significantly improved through negotiations between Labor and the Greens.
A day after the legislation was passed, a group of DCAN members visited our local MP Ged Kearney to thank her for her advocacy in lobbying for a stronger policy, and to say how pleased we were to see effective collaboration with the Greens.
However, while acknowledging that the new legislation is a big step forwards, we pointed out that it still allows companies to use offsets and leaves room for new fossil fuel developments - see this analysis by the Australia Institute.
We also used the opportunity to provide a copy of the latest Synthesis Report from the IPCC to Ged’s advisor, Jason. Even though IPCC reports are always compromise documents that tend to underplay the severity of the climate crisis (see example here), it nevertheless spells out the urgent need for real and substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and makes it clear that there is no room for new coal and gas developments.
The fight to protect our future continues!
Help get this important report released!
The biggest national security threat we face is climate collapse. Labor agreed before the election to do a climate risk assessment. We understand it was completed by the Office of National Intelligence and went to part of Cabinet late last year, but it has not even gone to the rest of the Labor caucus. This briefing note provides some background.
We need Labor to use this report to pivot to a stronger position on climate before the United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in September. We are risking food and water shortages, conflict and mass migration, not just a few more hot days.
Join activists from climate groups around Australia in reaching out to Labor, independents and Greens to get this climate-risk assessment released. Email us if you can join us in visiting MPs with an information pack.
DCAN urges Energy Ministers to focus on reducing demand for gas
DCAN recently wrote to Federal and State Energy Ministers about measures to help householders to significantly reduce gas use. We presented the experiences of one DCAN member (‘Angela’) to illustrate the lack of information and support available to householders to significantly reduce gas use. Here is an abbreviated version:
Angela already has solar panels but wants to reduce her energy use further. She recently replaced her gas hot water when it broke down with a new gas one. If only she’d known a reputable installer of heat pumps!
Angela has gas-fired hydronic heating. She’d like to do more draught-proofing, upgrade insulation, and install reverse cycle air conditioners for summer cool and winter warmth. Who should she ask for advice?
Angela has only recently learnt that Darebin Library lends out an infrared camera to detect points of heat loss (but there’s a long waiting list).
She’d like to replace her gas cooktop, but through DCAN she has recently learnt that it uses only 2-3% of the gas in a typical house. She may buy and trial a cheap portable induction cooktop instead.
Again through DCAN, Angela now also knows about seeking advice on the Facebook group My Efficient Electric Home.
Click here to read the letter in full, including DCAN’s recommendations to the Ministers.
Volunteer with DCAN at the Climate Carnival!
Saturday 6th May - Sunday 7th May, 10am - 4pm at Mycelium Studios in East Brunswick
Darebin Climate Action Now, Northside Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth, Climate for Change, and many other climate/bike/gardening/church groups are organising a Climate Carnival at the Mycelium Studios in May.
This special festival will showcase different approaches to protecting our climate and hopefully let everyone find their “best” place in the movement. It will also be an excellent opportunity to mix with friends.
The line-up already includes:
- Robyn Davidson (author of Tracks)
- Writer and academic Jeff Sparrow, author of several books including Crimes Against Nature, “in conversation” with XR member Professor Cath Strong
- Julian O’Shea, influencer, YouTuber and social entrepreneur
- Professor Ann Sanson’s session for parents on “How to talk to children about climate change”
- Coalition of Everything’s Sonia Randhawa explaining Citizens Assemblies
- Indie/blues/roots/funk/folk singer-guitarist Peter Vadiveloo
- Guerrilla gardening and badge making
There will be much more, including a children’s area, music and singing, stalls and other activities!
We are looking for volunteers to staff the DCAN stall with shifts from 10am-12pm, 12pm-2pm and 2pm-4pm both days. Just email us with your preferred time(s)!
Join the Darebin Chalk Collective!
Join us on Thursday mornings 10am to 11am on the St George's Road Bike Path. We collect litter (and log it on the FOE web site), talk to passers-by, chalk Climate Action slogans and sometimes weed a little. It is great fun! At 11am we go for coffee at a local café. Please come and join us for either chalking or just for coffee! Contact Linda Bradburn for more details.
If you're not sure what the Safeguard Mechanism really is, and how effective it will be in reducing emissions, here are two useful sessions being held by some of our fellow Climate Action groups:
Australia's Climate Policy - Effective or Greenwashing? Forum
Tuesday 18th April, 6:30pm at Phoenix Theatre in Elwood
Port Phillip Emergency Climate Action (PECAN), Bayside Climate Crisis Action Group (BCCAG) and Glen Eira Emergency Climate Action Network (GECAN) are teaming up to hold a forum on Australia's Climate Policy, known as the Safeguard Mechanism. The forum will delve into the Safeguard Mechanism, climate integrity, carbon credits and whether this policy can be the real deal when it comes to the critical work of reducing emissions.
Click here to register for this free event.
Understanding the Safeguard Mechanism
Wednesday 26th April, 7:30pm at Kew Seniors Centre, Kew
PM Albanese successfully negotiated with the Greens to get this flagship climate policy through Parliament. Now we ask, was it worth the effort? What will this policy achieve and where does it fall short? How will the "hard cap" work in practice? What coal or gas projects will be prevented?
It's early days but if anyone can answer these questions, it's these experts:
- Dr Jennifer Rayner, Climate Council's Head of Advocacy
- Leigh Ewbank, Climate Action Network Australia Senior Climate Outreach Manager
Join these speakers at Lighter Footprints' free forum on 26 April - register here!
Climate for Change’s Fellowship Applications due 1 May
Applications are now open for Climate for Change’s Fundraising and Communications Fellowship. The six week program involves weekly online training sessions and two weekend intensives, in which fellows learn essential skills for entering the not-for-profit sector. In the last month of the program, they put these skills to immediate effect as ambassadors in the organisation’s peer-to-peer fundraising campaign – raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for climate action.
Applications close 11pm May 1, 2023. Click here to apply.