Thousands of people around Australia have not given up on the Climate Change Bills. A concerted effort is underway to get them reintroduced into Parliament.
The recent IPCC report showed we are in a climate emergency. We must achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 to have any chance of preventing runaway global warming. Are you worried and don’t know what to do?
A Different Approach Community (ADAC) has been writing 227 letters a month to all Federal parliamentarians since 2019, asking for urgent action on climate change. They have devised this ingenious Mass Mailout for Climate campaign and have asked community groups to send letters to their MPs:
Throughout September, an expected 30,000 letters will be collected in a post office locked bag in Canberra and delivered to independent parliamentarian Zali Steggall at a media photoshoot event in October.
Visit the Mass Mailout for Climate website to view videos of Zali Steggall describing the campaign, get instructions on where to send your letters and some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!
Last month, the Energy and Environment Committee published its inquiry report into the Climate Change Bills.
Over 96,000 people had signed a petition in support of the Bills and 99.9% of the 6,500 submissions made to the enquiry supported the Bills. However, on 3 August, the chair of the Committee publicly presented the report back to the House of Representatives with a recommendation that the Bills be ‘not adopted’. Therefore, the Bills do not get to be debated or voted on in Parliament at this time.
Zali Steggall, the MP who introduced the Bills had the opportunity to introduce an accompanying, dissenting report to the House to show how strenuously she objected to the government’s decision not to recommend the Bills be adopted.
You can watch a video, and read the full transcript, of the proceedings here.
What happens now?
The report on the Bill has been referred for further discussion in the Federation Chamber at Parliament House. Zali Steggall is incorporating amendments from the inquiry process so she can re-present it.
On 9 August the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will be publishing its latest climate report and indications are that it will not be good news. It is likely that Australia’s climate change policy will come under increasing scrutiny as the world prepares for the COP 26 conference in Glasgow starting on October 31st.
What can you do?
Write to your local federal MP asking them to support a debate and vote on the Climate Change Bill
Write to your local newspaper in support with a letter to the editor
Call in to your local radio station
Talk with your friends and neighbours about climate change impacts and how your community and lives might be impacted
Australia has not implemented an effective climate policy.
The Australian government has initiated a gas-led recovery rather than a green recovery, and has continued to signal its support for the coal industry.
The government has shown no intention of updating its Paris Agreement target nor adopting a net-zero emissions target, with the Prime Minister specifically ruling this out.
Renewable energy investments have dropped to 2017 levels due to the uncertainty in government policy direction.
There is a lack of climate action, despite rising climate impacts such as the catastrophic bushfires that enveloped several states in late 2019 and early 2020.
For the last six months the Climate Change Bill has been working its way through the Federal Parliament. The Bill was introduced by independent MP, Zali Steggall. The Bill is currently with the Environment and Energy Committee that is expected to report in June on the public consultation process that took place between January and March.
For the Bill to be debated in parliament, either:
a) the government must agree that a debate should take place, or
b) a majority of MPs in the House of Representatives must support what is called a “suspension of standing orders” to pause planned business and debate the Bill. For this to happen, at least two coalition MPs will need to vote in favour of a debate.
Write to your local, federal MP and/or the Energy & Emissions Reduction Minister (Angus Taylor MP); the Environment Minister (Sussan Ley MP); or the Prime Minister expressing your desire for the adoption of stronger climate legislation, for the Bill to be debated and for MPs to be given a free ‘conscience’ vote
The House Standing Committee, Environment and Energy completed two days of public hearings into the Climate Change Bill on Monday February 1st. The overwhelming expert testimony offers broad support for the Climate Change Bill and recommends that the government take more urgent climate action for the good of Australia and its people.
In total, 6,500 submissions were received by the Committee and 1,700 are displayed on the parliamentary website.
Did you know that efforts are underway to have 18 March recognised by the UN as Global Recycling Day?
Sadly, a recent report in The Conversation showed that far too much of our recycled waste ends up in the oceans. The complexities involved in the global recycling trade mean we must rethink packaging design. That means using fewer low-value plastic and composites, or better yet, replacing single-use plastic packaging with reusable options.
On a brighter note, Construction will soon commence on Australia’s first lithium-ion battery factory in Tomago, New South Wales. The special lithium-ion batteries are designed for use in hot conditions. This is just as well, for, without strong climate legislation, our conditions will only get hotter and hotter!