Investments in decarbonising solutions

The Sustainable Hour no. 456 | Podcast notes

Our guests in The Sustainable Hour on 26 April 2023 are Mike Bodsworth, who is deputy mayor of Surf Coast Shire, and Blair Palese, managing director of Climate & Capital Media.

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Deputy mayor of Surf Coast Shire Mike Bodsworth talks about an unofficial carbon offset tree planting project within the Shire. To find out more on this go to

Mike recommends taking a look at the nine-minute video about Bambra Agroforestry Farm: ‘Let’s talk (frankly) about carbon’.

Mike also talks about Surf Coast Shire Council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan and encourages residents to apply for the new Surf Coast Shire Climate Emergency Grants.

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Blair Palese is director of philantrophy at Ethinvest, managing director of Climate & Capital Media, and former director of Australia.

To understand why Blair formed a Climate Capital Forum in Australia and why every country needs to do the same, read her article in Climate Capital Media.

Blair also mentions Paul Hawken’s Project Drawdown about the most effective ways to address climate change.

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We start today with UN Chief Antonio Guterres saying we all have a role when it comes solving the climate crisis.

Mik Aidt‘s weekly rant is channeling the Anzac Day theme of “Lest We Forget” to say “Let’s Not Forget” the blockers to real action one climate.

Towards the end of the Hour, we hear excerpts from The Chris Hedges Report: “Roger Hallam: It’s not the climate, it’s the system”, and UN Chief Antonio Guterres’ Earth Day speech, along with an excerpt of a 2020-segment with the Swedish climate scientist Johan Rockström. See his Earth Day 2023 presentation: Johan Rockström’s Quest for a Healthy Planet.

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Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook this week begins in Geneva, Switzerland, where the World Meteorological Organization released figures showing that global sea levels are rising at a rate higher than ever recorded and the trend is set to keep increasing probably for another millennia. Extreme glacial melt and record ocean heat levels – which cause water to expand – contributed to an average rise in sea levels of 4.62 millimetres a year between 2013 and 2022, the report said. That’s about double the pace of the first recorded rise, that was between 1993 and 2002. It shows an average increase of 10 centimetres since the 1990s.

Overall the WMO figures show 2022 as the fifth warmest year on record, despite the cooling impact of a three-year La Nina climate event. At present mean global temperatures are 1.15 degrees above the pre-industrial average, and the world’s nation’s all agreed to try to keep them below 1.5 Celsius by 2030.

Luckily help came from the United Kingdom where The Guardian’s environmental editor has issued a simple-language guide for governments, corporations and private individuals to follow to cut emissions in half by 2030 — and thus keep the world within reach of the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The report lists more than 40 courses of action that can take and notes each solution’s economic costs. Crucially, the chart also ranks which solutions deliver the most bang for each buck.

The five most effective options stand out as clearly superior, in the following order:

  1. Invest in solar and wind power. Together, they could cut global emissions by 8 billion tons a year, the equivalent of today’s emissions from the United States and the European Union combined — and do so “at lower cost than if we continued with today’s electricity systems,” the report says.
  2. Stopping deforestation. Leaving trees standing, and restoring degraded forests and ecosystems, could cut emissions by an additional 7 billion tons a year. That’s the equivalent to current emissions from Africa and South America combined.
  3. Saving energy. Shifting to more efficient appliances, lighting, heating and cooling technologies in our first-world homes could cut emissions by 4.5 billion tons, again at cheaper cost than today’s practices. More efficient transport, including expanded public transit, would bring further cuts.
  4. Cutting waste methane. Plugging leaks at fossil fuel mining, drilling, and processing facilities could cut emissions by an additional 3 billion tons.
  5. Using biochar. Burying charcoal in soil diverts carbon that otherwise would heat the atmosphere. Although relatively expensive, it could be paired with “no-till” farming to save 3.4 billion tons.

Still in the UK and Scotland announced that its generation of renewable energy last year broke all records. The nation generated 35.3TWh of renewable electricity in 2022, a 28.1% increase from 2021 and 9.8% from 2020. This is equivalent to powering all Scottish households for more than three years. Renewable electricity generation in the fourth quarter rose by 14%, the most in Scotland’s history.

Wind energy contributed the majority of Scotland’s renewable electricity generation in 2022, with 27.5TWh, 5.8TWh from offshore wind and 21.8TWh from onshore wind. Scotland’s net electricity exports increased 17% to 18.7 TWh in 2022, with an estimated wholesale market value of £4 billion. That’s $AUS8 billion Australian dollars, enough to buy third of one nuclear submarine.

To Spain, where a record-breaking eight-year drought has the southern region of Catalonia in its grip. The reservoir that supplies water to Barcelona is down to 8% of its capacity and the city and its regions, with a population that has risen to more than 5.5 million, face strict new regulations. There are limits on water use in these areas and bans on washing cars and watering gardens. Industrial water usage limits have been cut by 15%. Spain’s extensive use of water for agriculture – accounting for 80% of all water use – is deeply affected. The local government has reduced water use for farming by 40%. 2022 was the warmest year on record in Spain, with scientists saying that man-made climate change is mainly to blame.

And final news of the world’s greenest sports club, Forest Green Rovers, who played Cheltenham at the weekend and lost 3-1. But better news from the Rovers Women’s First team, who won 3-2 against Puckelchurch Ladies to win the Gloustershire Women’s FA Cup Final. So despite the men’s team being relegated back to the second division, the team’s women have put some silverware on the mantlepiece in 2023.

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That’s our global outlook and our show for another week. We’ll be back with more solution seekers next week as we try to encourage all our listeners to find their way of joining the climate revolution if they aren’t there already. Let’s all be the difference.

“We have launched a roadmap which is available on the website, and it’s really worth a look at, because it reflects on what we need right now. And what we need is money to flow very quickly into the solutions. There are so many barriers to that and there are really simple things that we can do. Super funds, for example, invest virtually no money in solutions in Australia exactly because of that language example ‘shareholders first’ [refering to Corporate Law and Robert Hinkley’s Code of Corporate Citizenship] – so the roadmap guides law makers in what can be done. We really pick the low hanging fruits as for instance mandating that Australian super funds invests a certain amount in climate solutions.”
~ Blair Pelese, Director of Philantrophy at Ethinvest and Managing Editor at Climate & Capital Media

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We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we
are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the land. They nurtured it and thrived in often harsh conditions for millennia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceded. It is becoming more and more obvious that, if we are to survive the climate emergency we are facing, we have much to learn from their land management practices.

Our battle for climate justice won’t be won until our First Nations brothers and sisters have their true justice. When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”
The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore the climate emergency are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How disrespectful and unfair is that?

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“As Hallam and Just Stop Oil warns, “Humanity is at risk of extinction and so is everything we have ever created: our works of art, our favorite novels, our historical buildings and artifacts, our traditions. We’re terrifyingly close to losing everything we value and love. We cannot rely on our criminal government or our cherished institutions to save us. Our government knows that new oil and gas means a death sentence for billions. Yet, they are continuing with plans to license over one hundred new fossil fuel projects. This means more heat waves, more crop failure, and more death. It is criminal, an act of genocide against billions of people in the poorest countries on Earth and an act of war against the young. Either you are actively supporting civil resistance,” Hallam goes on, “fighting for life, or you are complicit with genocide.” Joining me to discuss the climate emergency and what we must do to save our species and most other species on the planet is Roger Hallam…”
~ The Chris Hedges Report: “Roger Hallam: It’s not the climate, it’s the system”

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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.



List of running petitions where we encourage you to add your name

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