Climate Solutions survey launched for the People’s Climate Strategy for Victoria

Exciting news! The Climate Solutions Survey has been launched!

Ballarat Climate Action Network (BCAN) is reaching out to our local community to contribute to the People’s Climate Strategy for Victoria, a project coordinated by Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s Act on Climate collective. The People’s Climate Strategy is a state-wide project, and BCAN is working to ensure the specific challenges and opportunities in the Ballarat region are included. This week the Climate Solutions Survey has been launched and BCAN is aiming to collect ideas from as many people in the community as possible.

Local people are all too aware of the impacts of climate change already being felt across the Ballarat region, the wider Western Victoria and Grampians regions, and across Victoria. Local people are also a deep well of knowledge around all the solutions that can be implemented locally, and across Victoria, to help reduce emissions and mitigate the worst effects of climate change, and to help build community resilience to cope with the climate impacts already being felt. 

Under the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017, the Victorian government is required to prepare a climate strategy for the state and release it within 10 parliamentary sitting days of 31 October 2020. This strategy will set out the state’s plans for cutting emissions and helping communities cope with climate impacts over the next five years. With the government understandably giving the lion’s share of attention to responding to the coronavirus pandemic, we are stepping in to help gather local knowledge to contribute to the People’s Climate Strategy to help them on their way.

The aim of the People’s Climate Strategy project is to capture the knowledge of people from a broad cross-section of the community and to ensure the voices of the people are heard and included in the process of developing a strategy that will be presented to the government.

There has already been one survey to find out people’s concerns about climate impacts, this new survey will shift focus from impacts to solutions – ideas about how our region and the state can reduce emissions, from transport to electricity generation to agriculture and beyond, and build resilience to impacts, from bushfire preparation to flood mitigation, protecting people during heatwaves and more. 

People across the state have already been sharing their “Ideas for Action” in the lead up to the Climate Solutions survey launch this week. Some “Big Ideas” already shared by locals follow.

Find the survey here to share all your ideas. See our previous post or Act on Climate’s website, contact us, or call Liz on 0402 553 181 to find out more.

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.