The most recent IPCC report has endorsed the view of climate activists and scientists who have warned that countries cannot burn the world’s known reserves of fossil fuels without sending the climate system into a dangerous tailspin.
Research released in 2017 has identified which reserves must not be burned if we are to keep average global temperature rise under 2C. This includes over 90% of US and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands.
In May 2017, the world passed the first carbon dioxide reading in excess of 410 parts per million. Carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that level in millions of years. It’s a new atmosphere that humanity will have to contend with, one that’s trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at a quickening rate.
We believe that as a state-based environmental organisation, our best contribution to slowing climate change is to stop the further development of fossil fuel projects in Australia and help drive the transition to 100% renewables as fast as is humanly possible.
We have had a very successful couple of years, with two key campaign wins in 2016.
For the past six years, we have been focusing on stopping the development of the unconventional gas industry (UCG) in Victoria. We have now been successful, with Victoria announcing the first permanent ban in Australia on the process of fracking for UCG. For a short history of this campaign, please check here.
Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET)
Almost three years after a campaign was launched by FoE, a state VRET of 25 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2025 will be legislated in mid 2017. For a short history of this campaign please check here.
Please see below for a summary of the threat posed by climate change and links to our current campaign activity.
CLIMATE CHANGE BASICS
Climate change 101. What’s happening to our planet and why. More coming soon.
What does climate change mean for Victoria? A brief summary from the Australian government.
The great climate change hoax. Climate denial is funded by conservative think tanks and fossil fuel companies. Please check here for our response to claims that global warming isn’t happening or isn’t caused by humans.
Impacts on Victoria. Climate change isn’t something that might happen in the future. It is already impacting on ecosystems and people around the world. Locally these impacts are also being felt in higher temperatures, longer heatwaves and droughts and more severe bushfire seasons.
Here are some regional summaries of climate change on our state:
- Northern Victoria. A summary of the expected and already observed impacts on central and northern Victoria.
- The Victorian Alps. Threats to the Alps come from higher temperatures, with serious impacts on snow pack and longer fire seasons.
- Bushfires. Victoria is already experiencing more frequent fires as a result of global warming.
Quit Coal. Quit Coal is a collective that campaigns against the expansion of the coal and unconventional gas industries in Victoria. Please check the Quit Coal website for further information.
Yes 2 Renewables. Y2R is Friends of the Earth Melbourne’s campaign for 100 per cent renewable energy. Please check the Y2R website for further information.
Act on Climate. AOC was launched in late 2016 and is Friends of the Earth's campaign for action on climate change in Victoria.
Coal and Gas Free Victoria.
C&GFV was set up during the campaign to stop unconventional gas drilling in the state.
Other FoE climate change campaigning
The Climate Budget.
We’ve launched a call for the 2018/19 state budget to focus on funding climate action and full transparency regarding how much climate change impacts are costing our state. For further information, and to get involved, please check here.
The Climate Change Act.
Please check here for details on the CCA and FoE’s campaign to achieve deep emission reduction targets.
The moratorium on conventional gas mining.
The current moratorium on onshore conventional gas drilling has been extended until 2020. During this time the state government is carrying out investigations into the size of the conventional gas resource and collecting baseline data about the state of the environment. FoE is tracking this process. Full details soon.
The coal policy.
The state government will shortly release a new policy on coal. It is expected that it will outline the government's approach to the question of whether coal still has a place in the state's economy.
FoE believes the time for new development of any form of coal is long over.
For details on what we think should be included in the policy, and ways to take action, please check here.
Carbon capture and storage.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is an unproven, risky and expensive technology. State and federal governments have put huge amounts of public funds into CCS research for years, in the hope it will provide the solution to the greenhouse pollution generated by coal fired power stations.
We believe it's time for governments to stop using taxpayer money to fund research or development of this technology.
The Longford gas conditioning plant.
ESSO has recently opened its new gas conditioning plant at Longford in Gippsland, promoting it as the largest domestic gas project on Australia's eastern seaboard.
There are serious negative climate change impacts associated with this plant. It has substantial greenhouse emissions and further locks us in to continued use of fossil fuels.
The Latrobe Valley.
The Valley has traditionally relied on coal to provide a large part of the region’s employment and economic activity. Yet, as the closure of the Hazelwood power stations shows, change is coming to the Valley. We need a plan for a fully funded transition plan for the Valley. Details coming soon.
Rehabilitating previous gas drilling.
We are working with communities in Gippsland to ensure there is full rehabilitation of previous gas fracking operations.
The Point Henry consortium.
The Point Henry aluminium smelter was located near Geelong and operated for many decades prior to its closure in 2014. Since 2014 both Alcoa (who operated the smelter) and the state government have been considering what to do with the site. It is a sprawling and heavily contaminated industrial site.
FoE believes that the old smelter site would make an ideal location for a renewable energy park. In 2016, FoE started to meet with interested locals and organisations to discuss whether a renewable energy park would be a viable possibility for the site.
Information on the consortium is available here.
FoE Australia affilates:
Healthy Futures. Healthy Futures is an organisation of health professionals, students and community members taking action to address climate change and related threats to health.
Market Forces. Market Forces believes that the banks, superannuation funds and governments that have custody of our money should use it to protect not damage our environment.
Friends of the Earth Australia. Check here for details on other climate work by FoE groups and affiliates.
FoE International climate justice and energy campaign.
Friends of the Earth Australia is a member of Climate Action Network Australia (CANA).
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Support our work. Please consider whether you can provide a tax deductible donation to support our work. Or become a member or monthly donor.
Add your voice to our current action alerts. Check the top of our website for the current petitions and action alerts.
- Coal policy. Petition to the Victorian Premier.
- Petition to the premier on climate policy. Available here.
To get involved in our campaigns, please check the following links: