By Senator Christine Milne, Leader of the Australian Greens
How do we build an economic system that serves the needs of people and nature, both for today and for tomorrow?
The economy is a tool; a tool we humans invented – like democracy and politics – to help govern our relationships between each other, and between ourselves and the world we live in. If our economic tools are not getting the outcomes we want, making us happy, safe, healthy, better educated and fulfilled and protecting and preparing our country for an increasingly uncertain future in a world on track to be 4 degrees warmer, then it is time our economic tools changed.
By Colin Hesse, The Greens NSW Local Government Adviser
Like the temperature of the world, the heat generated by the discussion around pricing carbon emissions has increased the political temperature, while doing little to shed any light on how a carbon price will impact our community.
Each level of government will be affected by carbon pricing, and in the case of local government those effects will be in three main areas; the cost of electricity (in particular the cost of electricity for street lighting), CO2 emissions from waste, and other pass-on costs, primarily through building materials.
According to research carried out by the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC) in Perth, the cost of the carbon price for local government will be “around one third of the economic impact of the introduction of the Goods and Services tax”.
Daniel Kogoy, Greens councillor on Leichhardt Council
In inner west and southern Sydney, seven local councils are working together to develop their own renewable energy master plan. This master plan includes Leichhardt, Marrickville, Ashfield, Canterbury, Rockdale, Bankstown and Canada Bay councils and will identify the best ways to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources in these LGAs. It will also cover financing, ownership and operational details, including community/council ownership and joint ventures.
Community owned renewable energy is already common in parts of Europe and North America. In Australia we’re in the early stages of the move away from large, centralised fossil fuel power stations towards clean, decentralised, community scale renewable energy autonomy.
Decentralised renewable energy reduces network costs as power stations can be built quickly and closer to where they are needed. It enables local ownership, which empowers communities and delivers economic benefits locally. It also represents a great opportunity - after the recent shameful electricity sell-offs – to increase the percentage of public and community owned renewable energy.
Joachim Muller, Central Coast Greens
An Australian community-owned wind farm is Australia’s new international champion after winning the prestigious World Wind Energy Reward 2012.
Hepburn Wind is the community co-operative responsible for the first community-initiated and owned wind farm in Australia. As well as generating electrical energy, the 4.1 MW wind farm in Leonards Hill, near Daylesford (about 100 km north-west of Melbourne) it has also helped to educate the community about wind power.
Two years ago when Ballina hosted the NSW Coastal Conference there was a king tide flooding streets, washing salt water up through drains and adding further erosion to the beach. Delegates saw for themselves the severe challenges this coastal town in northern NSW facesfrom the realities of sea level rise.
Australia is in a race for gas, urged on by our state and federal governments. But from Broome to Sydney, a grassroots movement that includes indigenous people, environmentalists, city folk, farmers, social justice advocates, climate activists and climate sceptics are petitioning to stop the mining industry’s use and abuse of our land for short term profits. Citizens across Australia are telling the government to take notice: there is no social license for the damage from gas mining to our environment, heritage, water – and communities.
Green Councillors attending the NSW Local Government Association have welcomed the vote of support for a price on carbon.
Following a robust debate at the LGA Conference in Nowra, the vote to support a price on carbon was 132 delegates in favour and 122 against.
NSW Greens Convener and LGA Executive Member Councillor James Ryan said:
"Today's vote gives local communities around NSW confidence that their councils will provide strong leadership to address climate change.
"Speakers at the conference were told how all members of the community earning less than $80,000 would be better off under the carbon price than they were previously.
"Councillors also spoke about the coming cost to Councils of dealing with sea level rise and the urgent need for a strategy to deal with climate change.
Greens add climate change, animal welfare to Senate inquiry into higher education in agricultural sector
The Australian Greens today expanded the terms of reference for a Senate inquiry into higher education and skills in agriculture to include research into climate change adaptation and sustainable agriculture, and ways to incorporate animal welfare principles into agricultural education.
"The Greens welcome the Senate Inquiry moved by Liberal Senator Chris Back and we are pleased that climate change adaptation and animal welfare will also be considered as part of this inquiry", said Greens Senator and higher education spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.
"There is a disturbing mismatch between the surging demand for skills and training in the agricultural sector and the funds flowing to education facilities.
"In 2008, universities were found to be producing fewer the 800 graduates per year in agriculturally related courses in a job market that is crying out for upwards of 4000 qualified professionals.
- Contact Details: Book Online or Call 02 9351 7940
- Event Dates: Tue, 4 Jun 2013 6:00pm - 7:30pm
- Location: Sydney
- Venue: York Theatre, Seymour Centre, Cnr Cleveland Street and City Road, Chippendale.
Bill McKibben and 350.org in November 2012 hit the road to build a movement strong enough to change the terrifying math of the climate crisis by getting people, colleges and governments to take their cash out of coal investments.
Now the tour is coming to Australia.
Sydney, 4 June
York Theatre, Seymour Centre
- Event Dates: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 9:00am - Sun, 23 Jun 2013 6:00pm
- Location: Sydney
- Venue: Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay Campus, Taylor Street, Glebe.
Saturday & Sunday 22-23 June, 2013 - 8 for 9-6pm.
Sydney Secondary College, Blackwattle Bay Campus,
Taylor Street, Glebe.
This Summit is a must for climate activists and others who are increasingly concerned about our climate emergency and want to do more to help our children and our planet.