Ballarat leaders, union and environmental movement call for Vic targets of < 1.5°C

Ballarat Climate Action Network sent out a call for support for climate action at the start of March and received rapid responses from community leaders keen to broadcast their support for strong, science-based targets in line with keeping warming to less than 1.5°C by signing on to the following statement. The second oldest Trades and Labour Council in the world, the Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council voted unanimously to endorse the statement.

Ballarat 1.5°C Community Statement for a Safe Climate____

We have the support of:

  • The Ballarat Regional Trades and Labour Council
  • Public Transport Users Association (Ballarat Branch)
  • Cr Belinda Coates, Deputy Mayor, City of Ballarat Council, Chair, Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA)
  • Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions Inc (BREAZE)
  • Peter Gell, Bunanyung Landscape Alliance
  • Food Is Free Inc
  • Scott White, Environmental Evolution
  • Ballarat Action Climate Co-op
  • Field Naturalists’ Club of Ballarat
  • Ballarat Cloth Nappy Library
  • Cherie Draper, Silver Swan Nature Services
  • Ray Draper, Central Highlands Environmental Consultancy
  • Deborah Pach, Energy Forum Agency
  • Lucy Bracey, Historian
  • Hamish Molloy, Psychologist

We have sent the statement along with a letter urging action to the Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio and our local Members of Parliament.

The Courier reported on the support of the Ballarat region for ambitious targets, referencing this statement, the support of local MPs Michaela Settle and Juliana Addison who after meeting with local community members, have committed to “lead the drive for less than 1.5°C,” and comments by Cr Belinda Coates from the City of Ballarat, who also referred to council support for strong targets across Victoria.

It is imperative that the Government knows Victoria is watching, and that the community calls for ambitious targets that will build on the climate leadership the Victorian Government has already shown and drive the action that is needed for a safer climate.

The Victorian Government is currently deciding Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and 2030, to reach the net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 legislated in the Climate Change Act. The government tasked an expert panel to inform the process and found that a carbon budget in line with keeping global warming to less than 1.5°C is possible for Victoria and would help reduce energy prices and create more jobs while reducing emissions. However, the panel recommended targets that are only in line with keeping warming to 2°C. The Government needs to hear from the community that 2°C targets are not enough.

The most recent IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C show that we must have ambition, otherwise the social, environmental and economic costs will be extensive. 2°C of warming reaches another level. It means, according to Garnaut, by 2050 the irrigated agricultural output from the Murray Darling Basin would be halved, and by the end of the century the Basin would no longer be home to agriculture. It means no more Great Barrier Reef. Environment Victoria has a very clear info graphic comparing the impacts of 1.5°C and 2°C, including the loss of plant and insect species, extreme heat exposure and the disappearance of Arctic sea-ice. We are already seeing unprecedented bushfires; droughts and floods will only increase. We must do all we can.

How you can help

  • Call the offices of Premier Daniel Andrews and Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Climate Change, Environment and Energy, and leave a message urging them to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets in line with keeping global warming to less than 1.5 degrees C.
    • The office of Premier Daniel Andrews: 9651 5000
    • The office of Minister Lily D’Ambrosio: 9422 5171
  • Write letters to the Premier and Minister.
    • daniel.andrews@parliament.vic.gov.au; Salutation: Dear Premier
    • lily.dambrosio@parliament.vic.gov.au; Salutation: Dear Minister

Write about why you personally want the Victorian Government to act on climate, and ask for science based <1.5°C targets. Write from your heart about what matters to you.

Sign off with your name, location, postcode, and if you like, your phone number.

Further letter writing tips by the Climate Council at http://www.climatecouncil.org.au/how-to-write-an-effective-letter-to-your-mp.

  • Email us with your name, preferred titles, and if appropriate, your organisation and logo, to add yourself and/or your organisation to the statement of community support.
  • Share this post and the statement with your own networks asking for your contacts to also support this community statement.

The work does not end here. Your support is important. You have will; you have power; you have agency. You have choice, and you have your voice. Make your choices consciously and intentionally, and let your voice be heard. We appreciate the support of our community for climate action towards a safe future for all.

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