The Victorian parliament is wanting inputs on how our communities are responding to the existential threat of climate breakdown.
They would like to hear about which actions people and organisations in the local communities are taking to reduce emissions in an effort to limit the magnitude of long-term global warming and its related effects.
They also would like to learn how we are getting prepared to deal with those consequences of the disruption that can no longer be avoided, and which advocacy work local community groups are doing to create awareness about these issues.
The aim of the exercise is to seek new ideas on how governments can support these various efforts in the community.
This call is an opportunity for concerned community groups in the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast region to unite around a combined document – one that reflects what a diverse range of community groups representing large numbers of ordinary people are doing – or would like to do – about the climate emergency we are facing.
To create results, individuals and communities must be proactive, move beyond ‘business as usual’ and get better at collaborating. Here is a chance for community groups and government to start working together in the fight of our lives.
We invite community groups in the Greater Geelong and Surf Coast who have a commitment to climate action to put together a summary statement of what they been doing in the climate change space, and to estimate the number of people directly involved in the group and the size of their supporter base.
Importantly, the Victorian parliamentary committee wants to know just how governments could help community groups in their endeavours.
Groups interested in participating in this large joint initiative are asked to email their contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 20 August 2019.
The Centre for Climate safety volunteers will compile all the submissions under their respective group names, and will then add:
- a summary of the main thrusts of the community submissions
- the total numbers directly and indirectly represented
- the scope of the suggested ways that the Government can actively support its communities in responding to the existential climate crisis
…before sending the combined community submission to the Victorian government by the closing date.
Copy will also be prepared for local print and radio media, to focus the attention of local governments to the scope and depth of the community concern about the climate crisis, and to the initiatives that ratepayers groups are taking on their own initiative.
The Centre for Climate Safety in Greater Geelong recently received an invitation from the chair of the Victorian Legislative Assembly Environment and Planning Committee, to contribute to an ‘Inquiry into Tackling Climate Change in Victorian Communities’.
The inquiry is focusing on ‘what urban, rural and regional communities in Victoria are doing to tackle climate change and how the Victorian Government could support these communities ‘.
The Committee is interested in the views, insights and experiences of your organisation on this topic. Particular issues the Committee is investigating include:
• actions being taken by community members and organisations to mitigate the severity of climate change, including actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
• actions by community members and organisations to adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change
• ways in which the government can best support communities in their efforts
• interstate and overseas best practice models that could be implemented in Victoria.
The closing date for submissions is Monday 26 August 2019.
A Committee report to the Minister (Rohen Cheeseman) is required no later than 30 June 2020.
Centre for Climate Safety is spearheading or supporting a wide range of actions that are helping to focus the attention of government and the community on the now highly dangerous climate crisis that we and the rest of the world are facing.
Time is rapidly running out, with Victoria’s ‘1.5° degree’ carbon budget now virtually expended, and with less than 15 years of its 2°C-degree budget left – and even then, with only two chances in three of not exceeding 2°C degrees rise – and only if the world acts together and now.
“July has rewritten climate history, with dozens of new temperature records at local, national and global levels,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement a few days ago. July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, and extreme heat is baking the Arctic. None of the 300 weather stations in Alaska have recorded a temperature below freezing since the end of June. Wildfires are burning their way through much of Siberia.
These reports provide a clear ‘canary in the coal-mine’ warning. As Dr Kate Marvel wrote in Scientific American, “The scariest thing about climate change is what it will make us do to each other.”
What does the Centre for Climate Safety stand for?
The Centre for Climate Safety has:
- joined a number of high-profile individuals and organisations in its membership of the Climate Emergency movement and runs the now world-famous website www.climateemergencydeclaration.org
- made direct representations to the City of Greater Geelong through questions to Councillors at Council Meetings, and through two local Council petitions to declare a climate emergency
- held discussions with individual Geelong councillors
- continued to help educate the community by presenting climate experts and celebrities on its long-standing weekly radio program on 94.7 The Pulse FM – ‘The Sustainable Hour’
- been influential in Greta Thunberg’s rise to prominence during 2018
- continued to promote and support the many hundreds of striking school children in the Geelong area and beyond, who are intent on bringing Greta’s fervent plea to the attention of the world
- collaborated with Geelong Sustainability by helping with public lectures and other events
- collaborated with the Stop Adani campaign in Geelong and in Melbourne
- collaborated with the Extinction Rebellion movement in Geelong and in Melbourne
- facilitated the Frack Free Geelong campaign in Geelong and the Surf Coast
- continued to support local activists in the Surf Coast Shire and the Borough of Queenscliffe
The Centre for Climate Safety recently submitted a well-argued response to the Victorian Government’s call for comment on its draft emissions targets for 2025 and 2030, as interim milestones to its ‘zero emissions by 2050’ legislated target.
What is its reach?
The Centre for Climate Safety has a reach and range of skills that belie the small number of its direct volunteers – only five. However, in common with many similar community groups, the centre has a substantial reach: 200 subscribers on its mailing list, and 1,000-2,000 visitors per day just on its two main websites. In addition, its weekly radio program, ‘The Sustainable Hour’, reaches hundreds, if not thousands, of listeners to the radio and to its web-based podcasts.
What will the submissions achieve?
These community inputs to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry will focus the government in supporting community endeavours to mitigate emissions, to prepare adaptation to a hotter drier and stormier climate, and to advocate for commitment at all levels, both by innovative actions, by example and by advocacy beyond Victoria?
The Centre for Climate Safety will coordinate the expected wide range of community submissions to the inquiry. The intention is to make a major splash, letting not only the State government but also the City of Greater Geelong and the Surf Coast Shire really know that the community is on the march.
The goal is to harness the existing community mobilisation in order to make its message more visible and effective. This can change the story in our part of Victoria.
→ Read more about the Victorian Parliament’s Environment and Planning Committee’s inquiry into community action on climate change and ways in which the government can support them on the committee’s website: www.parliament.vic.gov.au
→ Groups interested in participating in this large joint Geelong and Surf Coast initiative are asked to email their contributions to email@example.com by Monday 20 August 2019.