add voice, Advocate

Monday is a big day for climate action in Australia

Improved Climate Bill

The improved Climate Bill will be tabled in the Australian Parliament. It has been revised to reflect feedback from the inquiry process and introduce a new, short-term emissions reduction target of 60% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

As Zali Steggall, the independent MP for Warringah, puts it in her media release:

“Climate change is the single biggest threat to Australia’s prosperity and largest opportunity for economic development,” she said. “These bills will ensure Australia gets a share of the estimated $1.7 trillion per annum invested globally in the net zero transition.”

“The Government hasn’t done the work and is letting Australia down, scrambling to negotiate a last minute plan with the Nationals. We must act decisively in this next decade to set Australia up.”

“There is a new wave of opportunity, and we need leadership and commitment to be part of it.  We need to set ambitious targets to drive investment and uptake in clean technologies.”

“I call on the Morrison Government to pass the Bills without delay and go to COP26 with a strong, responsible position on climate.”

Sharma Case Appeal to be heard

In May this year, the Federal Court found that the Minister for the Environment has a duty of care to protect young people from the future harm caused by the climate change impacts of a proposed coal mine extension project (Vickery Extension Project).

The case was brought by eight children led by Anj Sharma with the assistance of Sister Brigid Arthur, their 86 year old litigation guardian.

The day after the decision, the Minister of the Environment announced she would appeal to the Full Federal Court.

Since then, the Minister has approved the extension of three large coal mines: the Vickery Mine extension, expansion of underground mining at the Russell Vale Colliery, and expansion of the Mangoola mine.

Three judges heard an appeal from 18-20 October, and you can see progress on this Federal Court link.

Advocate, add voice

Mass Mailout for Climate

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!

UPDATE: The pandemic stopped the letters being presented, but follow progress on the Mass Mailout for Climate Website.

Advocate, collaborate, add voice

Update from Climate Act Now

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

For more information visit Climate Act Now and take action through the Mass Mailout for Climate


Climate Act Now

If the world does not act now, and forcefully, the catastrophic effects of climate change will be far greater than the current pandemic

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

In its Statement on Climate Change, Zonta International affirms that climate change requires swift and decisive actions and the time for such actions is now.

Please write to your MP asking them to support the Climate Change Bill that is working its way through Parliament.

Let your MP know your views on this important climate legislation. Remind them that climate change threatens human rights, such as right to life, food, water, health, education livelihood and safety.

Ask them to uphold the principles of climate justice agreed to in the Paris Agreement and ensure that the most marginalized groups do not bear the brunt of the climate crisis.

Australia is a signatory to the Paris Agreement. However, according to the Climate Action Tracker,

  • 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.  

Please use the links on the Climate Act Now website to email your MP, the Prime Minister and the Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister.

Now is the time to add your voice and stand up for a gender equal, sustainable future!


Take Action TODAY

Climate Change Bill Update

Have you signed the petition to support the Climate Change Bill? It is not too late to join the 95,000 people that have already done so!

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.

Visit the Climate Act Now website for more information

Other News

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!