Caldera Environment Centre wishes to recognise the generations of the local Aboriginal people of the Bundjalung Nation who have lived in and derived their physical and spiritual needs from the forests, rivers, lakes and streams of this beautiful valley over many thousands of years as the traditional owners and custodians of these lands.

Next Meeting
 Tuesday 13th December, 5.30pm
  Caldera Environment Centre
   4 Queen Street, Murwillumbah

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Nature Conservation Council of NSW – Climate Change and Energy update

NCC’s new energy transition campaign

NCC are excited to be starting an energy transition campaign to help upgrade NSW to 100% renewable energy. To this end, we’ve hired a climate and energy campaigner, Brad Smith, and it’s a pleasure to welcome him to the team. You can contact Brad at  bsmith@nature.org.au, or call (02) 9516 1488. We’re also currently hiring a new network organiser to work with our wonderful member groups on this and other campaigns, and to strengthen our network.

NSW Climate Change Fund Strategic Plan

The NSW government have released a draft climate change plan, which is open for comment until the 16th of December. This week, on the back of a media story on the issue, we launched a submission web page, and are currently preparing a submission guide and a paper form-submission to help community groups and individuals make submissions.

There are lots of great suggested actions in the government’s plan, but shockingly, the plan represents an 80% reduction in renewable energy investment by the government. We hope that your group will make a submission to help get this climate change plan back on the right track, and please look out for the submission guide which we’ll email around next week.

PLEASE SIGN: Climate Emergency petition

At the NCC Annual Conference a motion was passed that NCC would sign on to The Climate Emergency Declaration petition (full details below) and that the declaration petition would be sent to all our member groups, asking them to sign on as a supporting group and help reach the overall target of 100,000 petition signatures. Please encourage your group’s members to sign on as individuals as well as your group signing as a group. Please print some petitions from: http://climateemergencydeclaration.org/todo/collectsignatures/  and take them to stalls and other events to be signed.

If you have members who are near the coast, please support Steve Posselt in his kayak as he travels from Ballina to Moruya and then up to Canberra to deliver the petitions. For details see: www.kayak4earth.com.

Whether your group is concerned about forests, endangered species, protecting specific habitats, global warming or is focussed on another issue, climate change is endangering all the things we care about, unless we act now.

If the ACT Liberals, Labor and The Greens can agree on 100% Renewable Energy by 2020, it isn’t too much to ask our federal parliament to urgently act to restore a safe climate.

All the best,

Daisy, NCC Campaigns Director

PS: The climate emergency declaration petition is below.

The Climate Emergency Declaration petition:

To Members of the House of Representatives and Senators

We call on the Australian Parliament to declare a climate emergency and to mobilise resources to restore a safe climate.

  1. In February 2016, global temperatures spiked to well over 1.5°C above pre-industrial times, just weeks after the Paris Climate Agreement set an aim of not exceeding that benchmark. Climate scientists say that we are facing a climate emergency, and that the future of ecosystems and human civilisation now hang in the balance. Our Great Barrier Reef is dying as the oceans heat up and recent fires in Tasmania burned ancient world-heritage forests.
  2. Declaring a climate emergency is a vital step in building support for the very large changes required to restore a safe, cooler climate.
  3. A society-wide mobilisation of resources is required at a scale and speed not seen since the Second World War. Carbon emissions must be reduced to zero within a few years, not several decades, and we must draw down all the excess carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere using measures that include mass tree planting. We must rapidly transition from fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy, replacing fossil fuel jobs with jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The climate restoration is an enormous task, but given the risks to ourselves and future generations we must rise to the challenge.

Click to sign: http://climateemergencydeclaration.org/petition2/

[End of petition]

Background information

The Dangerous Climate Risk

Under all but the most optimistic scenarios of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for 2040 to 2070, our planet will be 1.5-4.5°C hotter than in pre-industrial times. This represents an impact range from dangerous with devastation of many island nations and the Great Barrier Reef, to extremely damaging to agriculture, tourism, natural ecosystems and human health, with much more extreme weather and wildfires. The last time carbon dioxide levels were at the current 400 parts per million was about 3.5 million years ago when temperatures were 2-3°C hotter and sea levels 10 metres higher.

The IPCC reported that “to provide a 93% mid-value probability of not exceeding [a dangerous increase of] 2°C, the concentration (of atmospheric greenhouse gases) would need to be stabilised at, or below, 350 ppm CO2 equivalent, that is, below current levels, which means no carbon budget left for 2°C!”

Former President of Engineers Australia, Prof. David Hood puts it: “if you were told you were about to drive over a bridge with a 10% chance of it collapsing, would you still drive over it?” So why risk much worse than a 1 in 10 chance about collapse of life on our planet?

Solutions

The acclaimed Beyond Zero Emissions group (bze.org.au) shows the way with details of full and rapid reduction of carbon emissions by Australia’s stationary energy, buildings, transport, land use, export and industrial sectors.

The International Monetary Fund report estimated in 2015 that Australian governments subsidised the dirty fossil fuel industry by about $40 billion and  BZE estimated in 2012 that about $37 billion per year (about 2.5% of our GDP then) could fund 100% clean renewable stationary energy in 10 years.

Daisy Barham
Campaigns Director
Nature Conservation Council of NSW
m: 040 2335 664 | e: dbarham@nature.org.au 
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