Spruiking sustainable living in a reenergised city

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Today, we look at a grand, green vision for the transition of a town of 210,000 residents and thousands of businesses to 100 per cent renewable energy – ‘REEnergise Geelong’. And we learn in detail about the ‘Sustainable Living Festival Geelong’ which is now rolling out in the city with over 80 events.

In the 60th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 18 February 2015, you meet Sustainable Living Festival Geelong co-organiser Vicki Perrett from Geelong Sustainability, Eileen Sims from Raw Ambition, and Heinz Dahl from Enviro Create for an hour around local events and initiatives in the field of smarter, cheaper, healthier, cleaner and greener living. Heinz Dahl enters at 31:00.

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 60:

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“In the years ahead, the only sustainable growth will be green growth. It’s a guarantee of jobs and prosperity for generations to come. It’s a massive opportunity.”
Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom


More information

More about the the topics we talked about in The Sustainable Hour


SUSTAINABLE LIVING FESTIVAL

The Sustainable Living Festival is on again this summer. In 2015, there’ll be 80+ events around Geelong and lots more in Melbourne and regional towns.

» www.slf.org.au/organizer/geelong

» www.facebook.com/SustainableLivingFestivalGeelong

» www.geelongsustainability.org.au/slf

Costa in Geelong

There are a whole list of kitchen garden tours set up with Costa for this years sustainable living festival.

These are all about inspiring children (and adults) to get in, get grubby and get involved with their gardens. See the full list on the flyer below:

costa



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REENERGISE GEELONG

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Heinz Dahl and an alliance of local groups and businesses in Geelong want to create a beacon city with a road map to sustainable jobs. They write:

“The world is in transition to the age of electricity and sustainable energy which is unlimited and free. It is no longer a question of whether society will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy sources – it is only a question of when. Some cities are already generating more clean energy than they consume. Others will reach the 100 per cent renewables target within the next five years.

ACT is heading for 90 per cent by 2020, Scotland is hoping to reach 100 the same year. Copenhagen expects to get there by 2025. Recently, Adelaide entered the list, announcing a the goal to become “world’s first carbon-neutral city”.

On the production side, the transition towards clean energy and more energy efficiency creates a huge opportunity. Production companies that are fast to understand how to enter the new market are now defining and designing the future.

Geelong region, one of Australia’s main industry production hubs, has many initiatives and ideas in the field, but so far, many hold themselves in a waiting position – waiting for public demand to rise and/or for investment incentives.

REEnergise Geelong is to turn this situation around and in record-time make Geelong into an Australian leader not only within the production of renewable energy, cleantech and energy-saving products, but with an engaged community which supports and drives the transition at all levels of society.

Here’s the vision. We kick off with an inspiring conference which gathers everyone who’d like to see this happen. From the conference, we form an apolitical community leader group and a secretariat which will communicate and coordinate the action at all levels.

“This is big,” you might think – and it is. It is the biggest and most important project Geelong has ever seen.

REEnergise Geelong is not about “reinventing wheels”. It is about connecting and highlighting those brilliant wheels we already have, and then to add a sense of collective excitement, visibility and simplicity to the process.

A key driver in that process is collaboration across all levels and sectors – the creation of cross-sectoral partnerships and wide community support for the development of small and large scale renewable energy projects, clean technology manufacturing and the uptake of energy efficiency.

100 per cent renewables by 2030. The moment we are able to see the picture of what a unified Geelong working on the same goal looks like, we will also realise that this process has the potential to enrich our community with much more than those new jobs and the unlimited, free and sustainable energy.”

» Text from a flyer about REEenergise Geelong



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GLOBAL DIVESTMENT DAY

180 institutions — with combined assets of over $50 billion — divested in 2014, citing climate or carbon risk as their motivation. To date, there are more than 500 active campaigns calling on universities, cities, churches, banks, pension funds and other institutions to halt investment in dirty energy.

Collectively these campaigns are challenging the social license of the fossil fuel industry, showing that its practices are no longer socially or morally acceptable, and offer a wake up call that energy companies can no longer burying their heads in the sand over climate change.

By taking back power from these companies, citizens are also delivering a mandate to governments to support bold climate leadership.

» Continue reading on www.treealerts.org



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Rockefeller fund joins global divestment movement

The ANU’s decision last year to divest its investments in fossil fuel companies was met with anger from mining companies and labelled reckless by Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Jamie Briggs.
Since then, however, the global divestment movement has only gathered steam, with major universities, religious organisations, and local governments jointly divesting approximately $50 billion and reinvesting in renewable energy technology.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund was one of the major private funds to stop investing in coal, deciding that it was simply wrong to continue down the path of fossil fuels.

It is about “Looking at science and looking to the future”, explained Valerie Rockefeller Wayne who is chair of that fund, when she was interviewed by ABC’s Radio National, – an interview which they aired and uploaded on 17 February 2015 to their website.

» Listen or download audio: www.abc.net.au



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Divestment song

Commonwealth Bank tried everything to stop the action of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC), but when they arrived at their headquarters for Valentine’s Day, it was AYCCers who told them to stop… in the name of love.

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition wrote:
“Australian banks have the power to stop Adani’s disastrous Abbot Point coal project from going ahead. Together we’ve made this project a top issue for the banks – from their boards to local branch staff – but they are still refusing to rule it out.

It’s time to put our money where our mouth is. In the next two months, Australian banks will be asked to help fund this multi-billion dollar project. We have to make sure the banks know they stand to lose their customers over funding the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and our climate. Today we’re launching the Dump my Bank campaign. Share the video and pledge to dump your bank at our new campaign website.

The hundreds of young people in this video just wrapped up our national volunteer summit with a commitment to go back to their states and collect tens of thousands of pledges and hold weekly break-up actions at bank branches.

There is no other organisation better placed to take on the big 4 banks than the AYCC. Our powerful grassroots network has already made the big banks worried, now let them know you mean business by sharing this video and pledging to dump your bank.

In the name of love,

Lucy & Kirsty”



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THREE LEADERS OF THE UK PLEDGE TO STOP USING COAL

As people all around the world unite to pull their money out of fossil fuels, the leaders of the UK’s three major political parties have agreed to end unabated coal use in power generation, making the UK the first major economy in the world to do so.

The pledge, signed by David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Ed Miliband, also commits them to seek a strong global climate deal in Paris at the end of the year and to agree national carbon budgets in line with the UK’s climate change legislation.

The announcement comes after a week where hundreds of thousands of people showed the love for all that could be lost to climate change, and has been welcomed by green groups, business leaders and politicians alike as “a vital step towards making a real difference”.

Commentators say it represents another “warning shot for investors” highlighting dirty coal is no longer a sound investment. This cross-party commitment to tackle climate change runs in stark contrast to those countries – such as the US, Australia and Canada – where climate action remains a hugely partisan issue, and further highlights the political and economic risks for those who “continue to peg their economies on the hopes of continued growth in the coal industry”.

With 2015 such a crucial year for climate change, as governments prepare to sign on to a new global climate agreement in Paris this December, the UK is following hot on the heels of the US, China and India all of who have recently signalled a shift away from dirty energy, providing further momentum to the growing call for a complete phase out of fossil fuels and a shift to a 100 per cent renewable future.
The Tree

There are three key pledges:

1. A strong legally binding pledge to limit the global temperature rise to below 2°C.

2. Agreement on carbon budgets accordingly under Climate Act.

3. Acceleration of the transition to a competitive, energy efficient low carbon economy and to end the use of unabated coal for power generation.

» RenewEconomy:
UK major parties vow to shut down coal, Australia should follow

» BBC News:
United Kingdom: Cameron, Clegg and Miliband sign joint climate change agreement

» Green Alliance:
Cameron, Clegg and Miliband sign joint climate change agreement

» Press release



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Japan now has more EV chargers than petrol stations

The number of EV charging points in Japan, including fast-chargers and those installed in homes, has reached 40,000, surpassing the nation’s 34,000 gas stations, a new report has found.

» Read more on: www.reneweconomy.com.au

» Fast Company:
Apple’s Biggest Project Ever Is A $850m Solar Farm
The solar energy farm in California will power all company operations, equivalent to powering 60,000 homes.

» Bloomberg:
Sustainable Energy Revolution Grows, Says Bloomberg Report
Since 2007, U.S. carbon emissions from the energy sector dropped 9 percent and clean energy investment totaled $386 billion.

» Norden.org:
‘Fossil-Fuel Subsidies and Climate Change – Options for policy-makers within their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’
This working paper has been published with financial support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. However, the contents of this working paper do not necessarily reflect the views, policies or recommendations of the Nordic Council of Ministers.



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Heatwaves and sustainability project

The heatwaves and sustainability project is a partnership between the City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire and Kildonan UnitingCare. The project is designed to support people that experience social isolation, financial hardship and increased living costs as a result of adverse environmental conditions. The project provides free, independent and expert advice to assist people better prepare for and cope with summer heatwaves, while saving money, energy and water around the house all year round. Advice can be provided with a free in-home visit or over the phone consultation.

» Community workers are encouraged to refer clients that could benefit from the free service to Kildonan on 1800 545 366 or email heatwaves@kildonan.org.au

» Download flyer



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Geelong Active Streets Event

Community walking and riding event on Saturday 21 February.

Geelong Active Streets is an exciting and vibrant walking and riding event within the heart of central Geelong. Ride the temporary bike loop in the city centre and enjoy family friendly activities along the way or dance the streets in the silent disco tour!

Saturday 21 February at 12-14: Cargo Bike Picnic, Trikes, Christiania Bikes, Dutch Cargo Bikes, at Pevensey Park (with Rose Garden, in the Eastern Park and Garden Street end of Malop Street).
Organised by Bicycle Users Geelong

» More information: www.geelongaustralia.com.au/healthygeelong

» Download the flyer



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» The Liberal Democrats – 29 January 2015:
Going green isn’t a luxury extra, it’s a necessary investment in our future




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“Participation – that’s what’s gonna save the human race.”
Pete Seeger, American singer

 

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