January 2021. President Biden takes the US back into the Paris Agreement. Then he signs executive orders to pause oil and gas leases. Then he announces a Leaders’ Climate Summit to take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2021. Climate action, at last.

Meanwhile, in Australia, we are still hearing statements like ‘gas-lead recovery’. Moreover, neither of the two major parties acknowledge we are in a climate crisis. Politics schmolotics. But there is some good news from Canberra. Zali Steggall’s Climate Change Bill is inching forward.

The Climate Change Bill represents a significant step on the long road to breaking the political stalemate around taking action on Climate Change. Over 6500 people and businesses made submissions to the enquiry, and the hearing begins on Friday, 29 January 2021.

The impacts of Climate Change represent the greatest threat to our national security, our economy, our health and our environment. But if we implement an effective plan now, we can create a safe and prosperous future for ourselves and our children.

Zali Steggall, OAM MP

Friday’s session included Professor Lesley Hughes of the Climate Council of Australia and Dr John Van Der Callen, from the National Chair of Doctors for the Environment. Monday’s session will hear from the Law Council of Australia, and the ACTU. We are proud to see fellow BZE organisation, Wingecarribee Net Zero Emissions (Winzero), making a stand.

Listen in here, read more about the bill here, and sign up to Climate Act Now for updates on this important national movement.

 

Nearly 200 people joined Mosman Council’s online Climate Action Forum last night, where they listened to a stellar panel of guest speakers and government representatives discussing climate resilience.

The panel included: 

  • The Hon. Matt Kean MP, NSW Minister for Energy & Environment and Member for Hornsby
  • Zali Steggall OAM MP, Federal Member for Warringah
  • Felicity Wilson MP, Member for North Shore
  • Mosman Mayor Carolyn Corrigan
  • Professor David Schlosberg, Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney and Director of the Sydney Environment Institute
  • Professor Ruth Irwin, Team Leader Sustainability, Mosman Council.

Dominic Johnson, General Manager of Mosman Council was Master of Ceremonies. 

It was a lively forum with some insightful questions posed by audience members including representatives of Zero Emissions Sydney North. You can watch the complete forum here. 

Highlights
  • Zali Steggall MP explained how the proposed Climate Act will confirm a Federal net-zero-by-2050 target, which all States and Territories have already agreed to. Then she discussed how legislation has helped successful climate action in conservative-governed-UK.
  • Professor David Schlosberg talked about Australia’s potential to be a renewable energy superpower
  • Matt Kean MP and Felicity Wilson MP spoke about NSW State based actions including the new renewable energy zones
  • Professor Ruth Irwin presented climate facts and solutions. Both Ruth and Mayor Carolyn Corrigan spoke about Mosman Council’s actions so far. These include the 51 kW solar installation on the Marie Bashir Mosman Sports Centre, LED upgrades for all street lights, and  informational videos on the Council’s website. They also offer discounted access to the Climate Clever app for all residents.

The panel spoke passionately about the need to support vulnerable people in our community who will be impacted by rising heat and unstable weather. They urged people to use their democratic power to vote for climate action.

Videos

The panel ended with a video of a Q & A with local school students talking to Matt Kean and Felicity Wilson. The video makes it clear that young people are well across the facts. They want to hear how we are switching to renewable energy, protecting our forests and animals. Creating renewable and sustainable jobs for their families and the students in the future matters to them.

Mosman Council’s three presentations from the recent workshops are available to view. To read more about Mosman Council’s climate action programs and initiatives, visit their website. And if you like what they’re doing, please tell them!