Reduce Emissions

Electric vehicles

One of the goals of the COP26 meeting in Glasgow is to speed up the switch to electric vehicles. But how should we do this in Australia?

For individuals in Australia, one way is to enter the 1 Million Women’s raffle for a new Electric Nissan Leaf! (Congratulations to Josephine Lamont who subsequently won the raffle!)

You could win a brand new, 100% Electric NISSAN LEAF 5-door hatch, including on-road costs valued at $53,190.00 drive-away. Every dollar raised in the raffle goes to 1 Million Women to help their critical work empowering women and girls from every corner of the globe to act on the climate crisis. 

The prize will be available for pick up by the winner at their nearest Nissan dealership within 60 days of the draw. Get your tickets before 21 December!

For governments, we can advocate having policies that support the uptake of EVs.

The Grattan Institute has just released The Grattan car plan: practical policies for cleaner transport and better cities and states that the plan:

…calls on the Federal Government to impose a cap, or ceiling, on the emissions allowed from new cars sold in Australia each year, and to ratchet the ceiling down to zero by 2035.
This would help Australia hit a national target of net zero by 2050 and save drivers money – because zero-emissions electric cars are much cheaper to run than high-emitting petrol and diesel cars.
But cheaper driving could mean more driving, so state and local governments should act to discourage driving and make public transport and cycling safer and more attractive.
They should impose congestion and per-kilometre charges on cars, make trains and buses as COVID-safe as possible, and do more to separate cars and trucks from cyclists and pedestrians.
Grattan Institute modelling for this report shows that an emissions ceiling for new light vehicles could achieve at least 40 per cent of Australia’s emissions reduction task between now and 2030, at virtually no cost to taxpayers.

What do you think of these ideas?

Reduce Emissions, Facts

Passing Gas: Why renewables are the future

Have you seen this latest report from the Climate Council? It reveals the extent to which gas is driving climate change – and it is likely to be worse than official figures suggest.

The Climate Council is Australia’s leading climate change communications organisation. It is made up of some of the country’s leading climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts.

Download the report here

Reduce Emissions, Article

Bronwen takes action

Never underestimate the impact that our actions may have on other people. For example, Bronwen Haywood, from the Zonta Club of Central Goldfields, was inspired when she read about a couple who had reduced their waste so much that they only put their bin out once a year.

From this, Bronwen began to look critically at what she was putting in her own bin. She diligently reduced, reused, recycled, re-thought and repaired – and now only rolls her bin out once a month!

Her actions were highlighted in her local paper and the article is shown below.

Bronwen has kindly shared her tips and we have used them to create our first Zonta Says NOW leaflet.

…and there’s more.

Bronwen had also written to her local paper the previous month to highlight her concerns about climate action. Her letter asked people to find out their preferred candidates’ views on the important issue of the climate challenges our planet is facing – before casting their vote.

The letter paints an image of life in Australia at the moment and is reproduced below.

The Letter

This was published in the Maryborough Advertiser on 29 September 2020

Retirement came to me in late February 2020 with vague plans to spend more time visiting adult children in Melbourne and exploring Melbourne by bicycle, with the odd trip to Sydney to visit another daughter.

COVID-19 changed plans for all of humanity. Thus, my cycling has been on the quiet roads of Central Goldfields Shire and includes visits to surrounding villages with friends for coffee when allowed. When you cycle, you can observe the landscape at a much slower pace and observe the detail. Currently, the golden wattle and the canola are making for perfect golden yellow vistas and the magpies are keeping me on alert. The distressing feature that is also observed at close quarters is the roadside litter –  varieties of drink containers, fast food packaging & household rubbish left to litter our precious environment – very visible evidence of human impact on this planet earth that we all call home.

For someone that has recently watched Planet A: Our Climate Challenge, hosted by Craig Reucassel on ABC observing this is sad. This 3 part program is all about how this planet is the only one we’ve got. There’s no plan b or Planet B.

Craig  says:

“This keeps getting framed as an environmental issue, and people always say things about it being the end of the planet. But it’s not the end of the planet. The planet will be here. It’s how we live on the planet that’s really going to be challenged.” “Not only have we got a big footprint, Australia gets smashed by climate change. Our country is really susceptible to the changes that are coming”

Further adding to my woes, is reading an article in the Med. Journal of Australia where the key finding is that Australia is very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on health. Policy inaction is putting lives at risk. I agree with Peter Hartcher, Age journo when he writes “Australia has lost a decade courtesy of Canberra”.

On a happier note:

– South Australia has become the first state to ban single-use plastics in Australia, but the new rules will not come into effect until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

– South Australia has had a container deposit scheme since 1977

– By 2022–23 Victoria will have a container deposit scheme that will work alongside the new household waste collection system and make recycling easier outside the home and creating new jobs in the recycling sector.

If you, like me want a planet to live on safe for your grandchildren, then we need to take action now – on a personal level and at all levels of government. I urge you to contact your elected representatives at all levels of government and request action on climate change before it is too late. Before you cast your vote in the upcoming council election, ask about (or find out) your preferred candidates’ views on the important issue of the climate challenges our planet is facing.

Bronwen Haywood

Thanks Bronwen for sharing your actions and inspiring us all!