May 2024 Dispatch

Welcome to the May edition of the DCAN Dispatch.

RiseUp Cooper - No more gas and coal!

Over 30 Cooper residents braved the rain last week to give local MP Ged Kearney a clear message that there can be no new coal and gas if we want to live on a safe planet. The action was part of the national Move Beyond Coal campaign and came hot on the heels of the devastating Future Gas Strategy announcement by the Albanese Government.

Folk present at the rally spoke up about their despair and frustration but also their determination to keep on fighting to end fossil fuel subsidies, put a stop to any new coal and gas projects and enact strong nature laws. Following the rally DCAN Convenor Ann Sanson presented office staff with a letter of demands. Ms Kearney had been called away unexpectedly from the office and was interstate. You can read the letter of demands here.

Future Gas Strategy

Many of you will have been shocked and disappointed by the Albanese government’s recently announced Future Gas Strategy whereby, in spite of the International Energy Agency’s 2021 Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 specifically saying there should be no new fossil fuel projects anywhere, Australia will continue to explore for and open up new gas projects. Resources Minister Madeleine King actually predicts, "Gas will remain an important source of energy through to 2050 and beyond.”

The Climate Council calls it “a maddening misstep” and says, “The Albanese Government has a choice: cut climate pollution and seize the decade by scaling up clean energy, or support new gas projects. It can’t do both."

This strategy ignores forecasts of a global oversupply of gas. It flies in the face of the Government’s own plans to develop clean industries. And it sounds more like Scott Morrison’s ‘gas led recovery’, not Anthony Albanese’s ‘renewable energy superpower’. Some DCAN members have responded by attending rallies with Rise Up (see article above) and writing letters to our local MP, Ged Kearney and newspapers.

Proposed Net Zero Authority is too narrow in scope

The Albanese Government has recently introduced two bills to establish a Net Zero Economy Authority. Although it is intended to coordinate the net zero transition, support workers in transitioning away from fossil fuels, and help reach greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, its major focus appears to be narrower - supporting workers attached to coal and gas fired power stations. This is of course important, but ignores many other workers in emissions-intensive industries such as export gas and coal projects, as well as all those working in other areas that will be affected by climate change. The bills ignore fossil fuel subsidies and fossil fuels exports, and would still allow the use of offsets, and ineffective and costly ventures like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

While there is a clear need for a body to coordinate the urgent work of decarbonisation, the Australia Institute’s submission to the Senate Inquiry on these bills noted that “a genuine transition away from fossil fuels cannot begin while the fossil fuel industry is still expanding”.

If you are concerned about the shortcoming of these bills, please contact Ged Kearney MP for Cooper and let her know.

DCAN calls for higher emission targets

The Climate Change Authority's (CCA) recent Issues Paper on emission targets for 2035 has recommended a target in the range of 65%-75% below 2005 levels. The CCA describes this target as “ambitious”. DCAN has put in a submission to the CCA, arguing that this is far from ambitious, and noting that it also ignores the serious under-reporting of Australia’s fossil methane emissions. Our submission calls for a steep increase in Australia’s ambition. We noted how analyses from a number of eminent researchers and research institutes have come to very similar conclusions: that to have even a 50% chance of not exceeding 1.5 degrees of warming, we need to aim for net zero emissions by 2035, with a 75% reduction by 2030 (based on 2005 levels). We also pointed out that these need to be real targets, with real emissions reductions, that the use of offsets should be minimised and that we should not be wasting time, money and resources on expensive and unproven technologies like Carbon Capture and Storage. You can find the submission here.

Darebin’s affordable EV Hub stalled!

This great initiative has stalled, despite Council officers emphasizing that it aligns with the draft Climate Emergency Strategy. We, on behalf of the 1,300+ people who signed our petition, ask why innovator Craig Bishop can’t continue at 2 Wingrove Street, Alphington with his plans for fitting out old cars with EV motors while servicing the vehicles of long-standing customers?

Craig and his family are facing at least two months' lost income because Council has banned him from trading until the end of June when results of a new Expression of Interest process will be known. Craig has repeatedly expressed willingness to create a not-for-profit structure and to focus on community service.

We are deeply concerned about the stresses on Craig and his family due to Council’s actions. Fortunately Craig has the support of our DCAN sub-group and petitioners. We are helping him to write the new EOI and are also lobbying councillors and Council staff so that, in the meantime, he can earn a livelihood.

Please help Craig by calling on our councillors to take action.

DCAN Affordable EV Hub subgroup (Emily, Marion, Jim, Kay and Jude)

Climate Resilience Inquiry Submission Making Party

You are invited to a very special event - a submission-making party for the state government's Climate Resilience Inquiry into how ready communities are to handle climate related disasters.

The Darebin Neighbourhood House Network and Darebin Climate Action Now (DCAN) have joined together to host the event on May 27th from 7 to 9 pm at Span Community House, 64 Clyde Street, Thornbury.

The Inquiry is looking at the impact of climate change on buildings and natural areas, including homes, schools, parks and beaches, as well as how we use these places.

This event is a great opportunity for you to talk about your climate change experiences and suggest ways to deal with these issues.

Come and share your thoughts and ideas with our community in Darebin.

Please sign up for the event via this Eventbrite link.

Any questions? Please contact Carmen at [email protected] or 0410 904 172

Mothers' Rebellion

The Melbourne Mothers' Rebellion has turned one. As always the occasion was marked by singing, sharing knowledge and gaining strength from being together. There were lots of positive interactions with the public and the first birthday/Mother's Day party was deemed a success.

Everyone is welcome to join this on-going climate activism and the subsequent lunch and chats. The next opportunities are at 11 a.m. on Saturday 15th June and 20th July outside the Arts Centre on St Kilda Rd.

To connect with the Mothers*, email here.
Subscribe or join here.
To see what Mothers* around the world are doing click here.

That's all for this month - thanks for reading! If you have any feedback on this newsletter, please let us know.


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