Anglesea says “goodbye coal – welcome transformation”

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An hour on 94.7 The Pulse about what’s next after the successful campaign to have the coal-fired Anglesea power station and coal mine closed down – about the transformation in community, wildlife, heathland and nature, with disappearing species, disconnectedness and anger as well as new engaging opportunities, exciting initiatives and historic changes in global climate change policy-making.

The ‘tipping point’ of the fossil fuel industry is moving closer. 85 employees at the Alcoa Anglesea coal mine and power plant realised this recently when they were told that on 31 August 2015, their workplace will close forever. Now what? What does the Anglesea community want for its future after Alcoa – and what are the possibilities, both for the coal pit and for the 122 hectares of freehold land that Alcoa owns in and around Anglesea?

Surf Coast Air Action spokesperson Andrew Laird is guest in the 76th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse this Wednesday. Together with him, we warm up to the community forum on Saturday 13 June, ‘Anglesea After Alcoa’, which more than 150 people have signed up to already.

Nature is what sustains us, and as a certified carbon neutral organisation with a zero-waste target, the Melbourne Zoo is at the forefront of conveying that message to the community. The zoo’s compost and recycling manager Tom Meek joins us to explain how – and why – they are doing it.

Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 76:

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 MORE INFORMATION 

Quotes, excerpts and links

…in relation to the 76th Sustainable Hour


Zoostainable

IMG_8247-tom150“In zoos in the past the focus has been to show animals. We have moved towards trying to operate in a sustainable fashion, as well as encourage the community as a whole to be more sustainable and to follow the example that we are trying to set for the rest of society.”
Tom Meek, Melbourne Zoo

Melbourne Zoo composts around 700 ton per year – and aims to reach “zero-waste to landfill” by 2019.

» Zoo.org.au – about Melbourne Zoo:
Carbon Management and Carbon Neutrality
The zoo’s waste management
The zoo’s fighting extinction goal
International programs & grants

» Online tool to offset your personal or business carbon footprint:
www.climatefriendly.com

» About The Tasmanian Native Forest Protection Project

» Mashable Australia – 1 June 2015:
Global warming may cause largest ocean species migration in 3 million years



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Healh issues associated with coal

IMG_8247-andrew150“One thing that makes me particularly angry is that I feel our country is currently being held back by the sorts of attitudes of your Tony Abbotts and his ilk, and unfortunately at present, we are all along for the ride. And I am certainly a very unwilling passenger, and I imagine a lot of my fellow Australians are as well.”

“Coal ‘good for humanity’? We’ve got 3,000 odd Australians dying annually from air pollution. Every one of them is a tragedy that just reverberates through our community. It makes my blood boil when you have those sorts of simplistic and demonstrably wrong slogans trotted out there by someone in such a position of responsibility.”
Andrew Laird

 

» Report by Environmental Justice Australia on the impacts of air pollution in Australia, including the 3,000 plus deaths per annum: www.envirojustice.org.au (PDF)


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Climate action and human health

In 2009, the Lancet Commission report described climate change as “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” On Tuesday 23 June 2015, an important new research series on climate change and health entitled ‘2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change: Policy Responses to Protect Public Health’ will be released by the international medical journal, The Lancet.

Known as the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate, this report updates and continues the research started in the landmark 2009 Lancet Commission report, ‘Managing the Health Effects of Climate Change’.

In their 2015 report, the Commission reaffirms the severity of the threat climate change poses to health globally, but adds support for action, finding that tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century. This report examines the latest health data and arrives at ground-breaking conclusions about the medical need for urgent action. The rising risks of climate change and air pollution, both products of a global overdependence on fossil fuels, affect many facets of public health. As a result, efforts to mitigate or adapt to the serious public health threat of climate change will result in direct benefits to human health, saving lives and improving the quality of life for people around the world.

A forum about the launch will be held at 6.00-8.00pm Tuesday 23rd June 2015 at the Peter Doherty Institute, Ground Floor Auditorium, 792 Elizabeth St, Melbourne.

» Sign up on www.eventbrite.com.au



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 FORUM IN ANGLESEA 

Anglesea After Alcoa

Community forum on Saturday 13 June 2015 at 2.00pm at the Anglesea Community Hall in Anglesea

What do the people of Anglesea want for their future after Alcoa Anglesea coal mine and power plant will close? What are the possibilities, both for the coal pit and the 122 hectares of freehold land that Alcoa owns in and around Anglesea?

These are critical issues that offer enormous opportunities. They are also issues that our community can and should have a major say in before decisions are made that will affect the future of our community.

With the Alcoa coal mine’s imminent closure the heathland could all be added to the Great Otway National Park. This is something which Geelong Environment Council, among others, is now beginning to advocate for. The environmental values of the heathland were not recognised 50 years ago, when the mine was established. Now it is.

Join Surf Coast Air Action for a free community forum facilitated by Geoff Brown of Rusty Brown consulting to discuss these issues on Saturday 13 June 2015 at 2.00pm at the Anglesea Community Hall.

Speakers include Professor Chris Ryan of the Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab, Kate Sullivan (Director, Planning and Environment at Surf Coast Shire) and Dr Nick Aberle of Environment Victoria, who specialises in coal mine rehabilitation. There will also be plenty of time for discussion and questions from the floor.

This is a family friendly event.

» See the Facebook event page:
www.facebook.com/events/1632057410364862

» Geelong Advertiser – 25 May 2015:
Future of Alcoa Anglesea site up for debate at community forum
By Anthea Cannon

International perspectives

» The Guardian – 6 June 2015:
Arnold Schwarzenegger tells Australia cutting emissions is good economics
“Actor and former governor of California describes claims that climate action hurts the economy as ‘a bunch of nonsense’ and urges all countries to cooperate”

» Thinkprogress.org – 8 June 2015:
The U.S.’s Biggest Coal Company Can’t Pay To Clean Up Its Own Mines

 

“Coal, the muscle that for two centuries powered Europe’s economic dominance of the world, is steadily losing its grip as cleaner fuels take its place and energy efficiency cuts electricity consumption, according to new analysis.”

» Read more on www.climatenewsnetwork.net


angleseaevent-in-Mel

 FORUM IN MELBOURNE 

Anglesea: how the campaign was won

Forum at 6.30pm on 17 June 2015 at 60 Leicester Street in Carlton, Melbourne

On Wednesday 17 June 2015, join Andrew Laird and Dr Jacinta Morahan (Surf Coast Air Action), Leigh Ewbank (Friends of the Earth) and Dr Nicholas Aberle (Environment Victoria) to celebrate the success of the community campaign to close Anglesea power station, and to share the experience of those involved.

The forum, hosted by Ellen Sandell MP, will be chance for the Melbourne climate action community to learn from those at the heart of the campaign. Using Anglesea as a case study, it will be a chance to discuss the tactics, successes and lessons learned, and the application of this knowledge to other campaigns for coal closure and transition, especially in the Latrobe Valley.

Join Ellen and the Melbourne climate action community at 6:30pm on Wednesday 17 June at 60L (60 Leicester St Carlton). Please RSVP here, and invite your friends and colleagues to come along too!



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 GETUP FORUM IN GEELONG 

What can we do today to secure the future for our kids tomorrow?

Forum at 6:30pm on Tuesday 23 June 2015 at 113 Noble Street, Geelong

“On the night we will be having a facilitated discussion around the question “What can we do today to secure the future for our kids tomorrow?” This will be an interactive session and your ideas and opinions will be highly valuable.

This event is organised by GetUp Geelong volunteers and is the first forum we are running as a way of testing out the format before we do a larger forum with the broader Geelong community.

When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Tuesday 23rd June
Where: All Saints Hall, 113 Noble Street, Newtown

RSVP: Click here to let us know you’re coming: www.field.getup.org.au/open_forum

Please feel free to bring along family and friends.

It’s going to be a very interesting and thought provoking evening. It’d be great to have you there to support the great work they are doing and to have your ideas and input on the question.

If you are able could you please bring a small plate of nibbles to share.”

» You can also RSVP via Facebook
www.facebook.com/events/1073596136001897/



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Talk of sanctions against Australia

“Greedy, rich Australia is a world-leading climate criminal country that with 0.3 per cent of world population is responsible for 3 per cent of global greenhouse gas pollution”
Gideon Polya: “25 Ways World-Leading Climate Criminal Australia Threatens Planet And Invites Boycotts, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS)”, in Countercurrents on 6 June 2015.



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 G7 MEETING IN GERMANY 

G7: Fossil fuels must be phased out

how-good-is-coal-abbott
Anyone else get the feeling the world’s trying to send us a message?

Shift away from polluting coal

Momentum is building. This week, in an unprecedented show of unity on climate change, the G7 leaders agreed to stamp out fossil fuel emissions by the end of the century.

With G7 leaders signalling the end of the fossil fuel age, the Australian Government is looking increasingly isolated and irrelevant in its stubborn insistence that “coal has a big future”.

Australia has six per cent of the world’s coal resources, and two per cent of natural gas resources in the world, according to the Australian Government, geoscience, June 2012.

» It’s time to move with the times and shift away from polluting coal. Sign the petition: www.act.oxfam.org/australia/climateinaction




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“The G7 group of industrial nations have pledged to phase out the world’s use of fossil fuels by the end of the 21st century.”

IKEA-fb-meme560
When making the announcement, IKEA’s CEO Peter Agnefjall said, “People want their leaders to lead. That includes companies like ourselves.” Now THAT’s leadership!

“A historic announcement from the G7, signalling the beginning of the end for fossil fuels, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund’s decision to divest from coal and IKEA’s announcement to pledge €1billion to climate action all show the real-economy and real-Leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel understand what’s at stake in Paris.”
The Tree

“With business leaders, major investors, faith groups, youth networks, trade unions, and frontline communities all adding to the momentum demanding and driving the transition away from fossil fuels and towards a future powered by renewables, the message to governments is clear: “The transition to a low carbon world is speeding up. Countries can either ride that wave or be washed away by it.”
Climate Action Network International



» ABC News – 9 June 2015:
G7 meeting: World leaders pledge to act on climate change, phase out fossil fuels by end of century

» Climate Council – 9 June 2015:
G7 announcement signals end to fossil fuel age
“World leaders have signalled an end to the fossil fuel age, committing for the first time to decarbonise the global economy by the end of this century.”





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According the American climate scientist Dr James Hansen, who previously worked in NASA, the June 2015 G7 pledges of zero emissions by 2100, the world will exceed its terminal carbon budget for a 75 per cent probability of avoiding 2°C degrees global warming in about three years from now. A 2°C temperature rise is disastrous for humanity and the biosphere, yielding at equilibrium sea levels “at least 6 to 8 metres higher”

» Countercurrents: ‘G7 pledge of Zero Emissions by 2100 masks worsening climate emergency and need for urgent action’, 10 June 2015



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Showing the good example

“If every business and organisation did what we did, we would flip electricity generation into being renewable-based by 2020 or shortly thereafter.”
Steve Howard, Ikea’s chief sustainability officer

IKEA shows what the private sector can offer

“Ikea, the Swedish home furnishing group, has vowed to spend €1bn on renewable energy and other measures to tackle climate change in a move that dwarfs what some countries are doing to address fossil fuel pollution. The family-controlled company says it will spend €500m on wind power and about €100m on solar energy over the next five years. Its charitable arm, the Ikea Foundation, will devote another €400m over the same period to helping people in regions most affected by global warming. The group has urged other businesses to emulate its move, arguing such action could transform the way electricity is generated much faster than expected.”

The French insurer Axa said last month it would ditch €500 million worth of coal investments this year and triple its green investments to €3 billion by 2020.

» Financial Times – 3 June 2015:
Ikea vows to spend €1bn on climate change measures


Charitable singer launches solar academy in Africa

The Senegalese-American singer Akon announced that he’s launching a new “Solar Academy” in Africa as part of his Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which aims to provide electricity to 600 million people across the continent, according to a Reuters report.

» Paste Magazine – 4 June 2015:
Akon’s Solar Academy Will Supply Electricity to 600 Million People in Africa





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Climate change


 VICTORIA 

New Climate Change Act and committee

Premier of the Victorian government, Daniel Andrews, wrote this note on this Facebook page:

“Climate change is already happening, and it is threatening to irreversibly affect our communities, our environment and our way of life.
We want to transition our economy to reduce emissions, in ways that grow the economy and increase jobs and the review of the Climate Change Act will help us identify those opportunities.
Climate Change Minister, Lisa Neville MP has appointed a committee of climate change experts and to provide timely independent advice and recommendations to Government on the Climate Change Act.”

“The Victorian government is hoping to convince crossbench senators to amend the Renewable Energy Target compromise bill to allow the state to resurrect its own scheme, which it believes will create several thousand jobs.
With more than 19 wind farms in Victoria approved for planning purposes but stalled on the back of uncertainty around the RET, the Andrews government wants crossbenchers to strike out a clause in the legislation preventing state-based schemes.”

» The Australian – 8 June 2015:
Victoria sees jobs in tweak to RET bill



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 CALIFORNIA 

Californian Senate introduces 12 new climate laws

The California Senate passed a package of bills to address climate change. Legislation includes a plan to divest California’s public pensions from coal.

The Californian Senate shows the rest of the world’s politicians how simple it is to take action when politicians are willing to demonstrate long-term responsibility and general economic common sense, after having slammed the door to the persistent lobbying from the oil- coal- and gas industry.

“This package of bills represents the most far-reaching effort to fight climate change in the history of our nation,” Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León said in a statement. “These bills put California on path to sustainable economic growth, while also protecting the health of our communities.”

Legislation includes a plan to reduce gasoline use on California’s roads by 50 percent, increase energy efficiency by 50 percent, and have 50 percent of California’s electricity come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar. The 12 bills also include measures to direct cap and trade funds toward public transportation infrastructure, extend the emissions reduction target to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

» Read more on www.thinkprogress.org

» Carbonbrief.org – June 2015:
Analysis: Climate change ‘Apollo Programme’ raises both hope and questions



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Divestment news

 NORWAY 

World’s largest pension fund leads the way

The Norwegian Parliament has decided unanimously to divest its $900 billion wealth fund. This means that shares of around $8 billion will now be divested from coal companies, an analysis shows. “This is the largest divestment of coal in world history, and it should pave the way for other investors and countries,” said Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace in Norway, in a media release.

» Read more on www.theguardian.com


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Onshore gas mining


 VICTORIA 

Government calls for public submissions on fracking

News about the Victorian government’s Inquiry into Unconventional Gas: The committee has just opened up requests for submissions. Due by 10 July 2015.

» See www.parliament.vic.gov.au

Cam Walker, campaigns co-ordinator at Friends of the Earth, writes: “We are trying to make our petition calling for a ban on UCG massive. This will be delivered to the premier in September. It is here: www.melbourne.foe.org.au/ban_ucg_in_victoria

Friends of the Earth’s info on the inquiry is found here:
www.melbourne.foe.org.au/ucg_inquiry

Media release from the Victorian parliament

Community views sought on onshore unconventional gas

A Victorian parliamentary inquiry is seeking community views on the exploration, extraction, production and rehabilitation for onshore unconventional gas in Victoria.

Chair of the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee, Hon. David Davis, said the inquiry is an opportunity for all Victorians to have their say on what has been a controversial issue around Australia.

“The Committee has been asked to look at unconventional gas in Victoria,” Mr Davis said. “Over the coming months we will be talking to communities, industry, scientific and legal experts and a broad range of groups and individuals. It is important that we hear firsthand from the community about this industry, both its risks and its benefits.”

Unconventional gas refers to coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas, and is sometimes extracted using hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’. There is currently a moratorium on the further development of unconventional gas resources.

The Committee has called for written submissions within its terms of reference and which focus on:

• The potential benefits of onshore unconventional gas as an energy source
• The potential risks, including risks to the environment, land productivity, agricultural industries and public health, and whether such risks can be managed
• The impact on the legal rights of property owners and existing land and water uses
• How this issue is managed in other Australian and international jurisdictions
• Potential changes to our legislative and regulatory framework.

Details about how to make a submission or contribute at a public hearing can be found on the Committee’s website: www.parliament.vic.gov.au/epc

Submissions close on 10 July.”





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“Mayor Darryn Lyons encourages more people to be environmental agents of change.”
Quote from City of Greater Geelong press release



 GEELONG 

‘City in a Park’ vision

Geelong Council welcomes feedback about its new plan for greening Central Geelong
‘A City in a Park’ is a vision for how the ‘Greening Geelong’ initiative of the Central Geelong Action Plan can be implemented by improving streets and key public spaces in the city centre. It includes the creation of 2.3 hectares of public parkland or pedestrian space which improves the physical environment for people, birds and animals. By creating a ‘City in a Park’, Council expects to see benefits such as safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists.

» City in a Park – release of plan for greening Central Geelong

» Council welcomes feedback about the project. Email your comments to: revitalisation@geelongcity.vic.gov.au.





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