Actually we act on climate

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In the lead up to the Act on Climate festival in Geelong and the UN Climate Talks in Paris, the 99th Sustainable Hour on 94.7 The Pulse on 18 November 2015 is an hour spent in pleasant company with Climate Reality Leader Sam Smith from Future Proofing Geelong, a department in City of Greater Geelong.

We talk about climate policy and various positive climate action initiatives at local and municipal as well as global level, such as Future Proofing Geelong, the Compact of Mayors initiative, the People’s Climate March, and more.


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“Tiny things that everybody does make the biggest impact”

“People seem to think that climate change is someone else’s problem. The government’s problem… not our problem. But it is those little, tiny things that everybody can do that will make the biggest impact,” says Sam Smith.

In The Sustainable Hour, she explains that there is more happening in Geelong Council than people realise:

“There is a whole lot of work behind the scenes that Council is doing, not only for their assets, [getting more solar on the roof and retrofitting buildings], but also about how are they going to go forward in the future. People are going, ‘What is this council doing?’, ‘Council is doing nothing!’ – that is actually not quite true. And it is not just the Environment Department and Future Proofing Geelong, there is stuff going on in the Aged Care Sector, in Community Development. It might not be loud speaker stuff, but it is definitely there.”

Already, Geelong Council has a whole lot of policies in place, such as the Green Building Policy, the Heatwave Policy, Heat Island Effect Policy, Climate Change Adoptation Strategy, and a Greenhouse Gas Strategy, which is currently being drafted, as well as the Environment Management Strategy which subscribes to the One Planet Living principles.

Sam Smith’s 2014-interview in The Sustainable Hour

If you liked lidtening to this program, then you might also like to listen to:

» The Sustainable Hour no 56 on 27 December 2014:
We learn from each other’s solutions
A revolution is happening under our noses: We’re watching a bright green coalition begin to build a future that makes sense in our lifetime. Wind energy is now cheaper than coal. The only thing standing in the way for a transition to clean energy and a safer climate is political will. Guest in the sustainable studio: Sam Smith
» www.climatesafety.info/thesustainablehour56



 LISTENER SERVICE 

Things we mentioned

…in the 99th Sustainable Hour


Future Proofing Geelong

Future Proofing Geelong’s new vision

“Our vision is that in 2030, Geelong is internationally recognised as one of the world’s most resilient cities through collaboration and innovation in three focus areas: sustainability, liveability and productivity.”
» www.futureproofinggeelong.com

Future Proofing Geelong’s previous vision
“Future Proofing Geelong’s vision is that in the year 2030, Geelong is internationally recognised as one of the world’s most sustainable cities.”
» www.futureproofinggeelong.com

Geelong Council’s operating expenditure is in the range of 292 million dollars. The 2014-budget allocated $300,000 for Future Proofing Geelong and $2 million for Christmas decorations. That tells its own story about how much sustainability and resilience is given priority by the councillors.
» www.climatesafety.info



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Compact of Mayors

Compact of Mayors is the world’s largest cooperative effort among cities to fight climate change. It will most likely be cities, not nations, that will play a bigger role in preventing the global temperature from rising more than two degrees.

“The mayors of the world are those in the best position to take the actions needed, and they [already] are,” said Zachary Tofias, head of sustainable communities at the world’s global city networks C40. C40 has a Cities Climate Leadership Group, which involves more than 80 cities worldwide, and together with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg, the C40 group has launched a common platform, The Compact of Mayors, which captures the impact of cities’ collective actions through standardised measurement of emissions and climate risk, and consistent, public reporting of their efforts.

“The Compact of Mayors provides hard evidence that cities are true climate leaders, and that local action can have a significant global impact,” it is stated on the initiative’s website, www.compactofmayors.org

Sydney is one of city members of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which – along with UN Special Envoy Michael Bloomberg and other city networks – launched the Compact of Mayors. Melbourne is also a member.

» Read more on www.scmp.com

 

“Communities in Germany, Canada and Uganda are already reaping the benefits of moving away from fossil fuels to more decentralised energy systems.”

» The Guardian – 4 November 2015:
A global shift to 100% renewables is not just cleaner – it’s about equality

See also:

» The Guardian – 24 November 2015:
Most of Britain’s major cities pledge to run on green energy by 2050
“Leaders of more than 50 Labour-run councils sign pledge to eradicate carbon emissions ahead of Paris climate talks”



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Morocco poised to become a solar superpower

Morocco plans to build the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant. Powered by the Saharan sun, it aims to provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020. The first phase with a generating capacity of 160MW goes live in November 2015. When finished, four solar plants will occupy a space as big as Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, and generate 580MW of electricity, enough to power a million homes.

» The Guardian – 26 October 2015:
Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project



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More of all the good news

For our 100th Sustainable Hour radio show on 21 November 2015, we have collected a list of examples of climate action news stories that have come out recently. Landmarks, mile stones and gains to celebrate and that give hope for a much faster transition to a fossil fuel free Australia and to a safer climate than what our current elected leaders are willing to aim for.

» See: www.climatesafety.info/goodnews2015


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#SmallChanges

» Tell about your the small changes you have made on #SmallChanges



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Planetary (2015) Trailer, published on youtube.com on 11 March 2015.

“The film ‘Planetary’ presents a stunning visual portrait of our Earth, taking us on a journey across continents: from the African savannah to the Himalayas, and from the heart of Tokyo to the view of our fragile planet from orbit. Through intimate interviews with a diversity of people, from NASA astronauts and environmentalists to philosophers and Tibetan lamas, the film explores our shared future. It suggests that the key to transforming our civilization lies in an understanding that all life is inseparably interconnected, and that we cannot change the world unless we change the way we see ourselves, our planet, and the wider cosmos we are embedded within.”



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Climate Change Community Conversations

Sustainability Victoria’s regional Climate Change Community Conversations shares local projects and discusses important climate change issues.

Summaries from meetings in Geelong, Swan Hill, Warragul, Stratford, Horsham and Ballarat can be found on the Climate Change Conversations website.



 EXTRA NOTES 

Quotes, excerpts and links

…in relation to the 99th Sustainable Hour


After the massacres of Paris: dread, revolt, action

“France is at war”, we are told. But this is not our war: after the American disaster in Iraq and Afghanistan, the current French interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Mali, Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, contribute to destabilize these regions and trigger the departure of migrants who face Fortress Europe and whose bodies are washed up on our beaches. Inequalities and predations tear societies, have them stand against each other.

Al Qaeda or Daesh derive all their inhuman strength from these injustices. This war leads to no peace because there is no peace without justice. To end this war, our societies will have to do away with addictions to power, weapons, oil, rare metals, uranium …

Another world is possible, necessary and urgent.”

Attac France, 14 November 2015




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Victorian Government supports local councils’ response to climate change

The Victorian Government has opened a new $1.15 million grant program to help councils make their communities more resilient to climate change.

The Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 program, open for bids until 29 December, comprises two parts: a competitive round of grants of between $20,000 and $80,000 open to all councils; and a non-competitive round of grants of up to $10,000 for “resource-constrained councils”.

According to the government, the grants are needed to help councils “drive local climate change action”, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and “making effective and innovative decisions on how to increase resilience of services and assets”.

Lisa Neville, Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, said: “The impacts of climate change are real, and acting on climate change is fundamental for a thriving, resilient Victoria. We need to support local government to take advantage of the opportunities for jobs, growth, cleaner industries and more liveable communities.

“The government recognises the need for a coordinated, whole of government approach, and the need to work closely with the community, including local councils.”

Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins added: “Many local councils have a fantastic record of working with their communities to tackle climate change – [this] announcement will help further that work.

“The impact of climate change is felt by all Victorians, and it is up to us to take action and reduce its effects – at a national, state and local level.”

www.thefifthestate.com.au

» Victoria State Government media release – 4 November 2015:
$1.15 Million To Help Victorian Councils Respond To The Challenges Of Climate Change

» Councils can submit applications for the Victorian Climate Change Grants 2015 program here



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Petitioning The Mayor and Councillors of the City of Greater Geelong:

Divest from fossil fuels

City of Greater Geelong – Stop funding the number 1 cause of climate change and Divest from Fossil Fuels!

City of Greater Geelong currently invests your council rates with the big four banks (Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and ANZ). We request that the Council joins the growing divestment movement by divesting the maximum amount possible from the big four banks into financial institutions which do not invest in fossil fuels.

Why is this important?
Since 2008, Australia’s big four banks have loaned almost $37 billion to new coal and gas projects in Australia. These projects threaten our land, water, health, the climate and precious ecosystems. As custodians of the majority of Australians’ money, the big banks need to be held accountable for how it is used.

Why councils?
Residents pay rates to their Council who invest this money in terms deposits until they spend it. These term deposits are often held with the big banks who loan money to fossil fuel projects. While Councils do a great job of protecting our local environment, they often don’t realise the connection between their banking and fossil fuel projects.

15 councils in Australia have already divested. IT’S TIME FOR GEELONG TO DIVEST!

» Sign the petition: www.change.org



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