Thanks to all our members and supporters for their wonderful support during a tough year.
It's been a huge year for our co-op and cafe and the campaigns team. There is a summary of some of our wins and plans for 2021 available here.
Our food co-op and café is trading normal hours until the evening of December 24.
We will be closing from Xmas Day and then reopening on Saturday 2nd January at normal hours (generally 10am – 5pm, and Sunday from 11am until 4.30pm).
Please keep an eye on the co-op facebook page for extra details.
We hope you have a wonderful summer break with friends, family and community. Here’s to more justice, sustainability and community in 2021.
2020 is not the year that any of us wanted, and for many, it's one we would prefer to forget. A dry winter and warm spring led to an awful fire season that devastated huge sections of East Gippsland, the mountains, and north east Victoria. The human and ecological costs of these fires will take years to heal.
Then we had the coronavirus, and the double lock down of Melbourne and the regions. Isolation, separation from loved ones, and economic impacts all put a heavy toll on many people.
In spite of all this, Friends of the Earth had a remarkably productive year, with some of our long running campaigns securing significant wins, some of which have been years in the making.
Here is a summary of what we achieved in 2020, and what’s in store for 2021.
MEDIA RELEASE: 10 December 2020
Momentum builds for ambitious climate targets after Andrews govt delivers a record cut in electricity emissions
Victoria’s latest greenhouse gas performance data, released today, shows the Andrews government has delivered a record cut in emissions from the electricity sector.
Friends of the Earth say the nationally-significant achievement builds momentum for the state government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets for 2025 and '30. A decision on the targets is imminent after it was deferred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Andrews government’s renewable energy leadership has delivered a record cut in electricity sector emissions while creating thousands of jobs," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.
"The accelerating pace of emissions cuts in Victoria shows that Premier Dan Andrews can afford to set bold and ambitious Emissions Reduction Targets."
An exciting short term contract to work with Friends of the Earth to build the resistance to coastal gas developments in South West VIC has come up. Applications close 5th January.
After a year like no other where Victorians faced catastrophic bushfires over summer and then stared down the outbreak of Covid-19, how can we build back better as the post-Covid economic recovery gets underway?
The Victorian government's most recent budget marks a significant shift for renewable energy and climate action in the state, after the Andrews government announced a massive $1.6 billion in funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency upgrades, as well as increased for funding public transport projects. Thge budget will see billions of dollars spent delivering home energy efficiency upgrades, accelerating rooftop solar and batteries, beginning construction on stage one of the Suburban Rail Loop and building new, energy efficient public housing stock. These are all very welcome announcements that will have a positive impact on people’s living standards, and create jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These are exactly the kinds of announcements we need to see more of if we’re going to have a chance of acting on the climate crisis.
As momentum builds towards more climate change solutions, Friends of the Earth Melbourne's Yes 2 Renewables collective is putting the spotlight on five of the top clean energy projects for a renewables-led recovery in Victoria.
NSW Border Rivers is the first valley in NSW where floodplain harvesting will be licensed. Follow our table of questions and answers to get your submission in.
Make a submission by midnight, Monday November 30!
Environment group Friends of the Earth welcomes the Andrews government’s announcement of an Energy Innovation Fund today, and say establishing Victoria as a national leader in offshore wind and renewable hydrogen means it can aim high on climate change.
“This is an important step towards making Victoria the national leader in offshore wind and getting ready to create a long pipeline of thousands of good climate jobs” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables Coordinator.
Friends of the Earth have been calling on the government to establish an offshore wind industry plan to ensure the state maximises the benefits of kickstarting the sector, in the leadup to an imminent decision on Emissions Reduction Targets for the state.
The Andrews government’s 2020-21 budget delivers a clean recovery for Victoria with a record $1.6 billion to accelerate the renewable energy transition and over $5 billion for Public Transport.
Friends of the Earth say the record investment in climate, energy, and transport initiatives build momentum for the government to set science-based Emissions Reduction Targets—a decision on which is expected by the end of the year:
“The Andrews government budget will deliver a clean recovery for Victoria that will create thousands of jobs while cutting emissions,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth campaigns coordinator.
Friends of the Earth Melbourne expresses great disappointment that the Victorian government has deferred setting the state’s first interim Emissions Reduction Targets. It is the second time this has occurred.
When the Andrews government strengthened the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 it introduced deadlines to ensure our state’s response to the climate crisis is swift and steady. It demonstrated a keen awareness of the urgency of the issue when enshrining these deadlines in law.
Since 2017, community members across the state have been calling on the government to set science-based targets that contribute towards the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global warming below 1.5°C.
It is an outcome that would accelerate the rollout of renewables, increase investment in sustainable transport, require greater protection of forests and the natural world, and help protect communities from intensifying impacts.
THE GAS STORY: SO FAR NOT SO GOOD
Last week the Victorian government gave the go ahead to onshore conventional gas exploitation across the State. A moratorium had halted all exploration and drilling since 2014. In March 2020, the Andrews Government introduced new laws to lift the moratorium and allow extensive drilling for gas reserves underground from July 2021.
In 2018, the Victorian Labour Government released five new oil and gas exploration blocks in the offshore Otway Basin in State waters, extending from Port Campbell to the South Australian border. Climate science makes it abundantly clear that time is running out if we want to avoid catastrophic climate change. To reduce methane gas emissions, we must stop further fossil fuel expansion and transition to 100% renewable energy and energy storage. The State government needs to cancel the tender process for offshore oil and gas exploration and end onshore gas expansion in the Otway Basin in western Victoria. The time for new fossil fuel expansion is over. Keep reading to meet the CAST OF GAS VILLIANS and TAKE DIGITAL ACTION NOW!
DIGITAL ACTION TO RESIST FOSSIL FOOLS!
TELL Mr Andrews … NO NEW OIL & GAS in the OTWAY BASIN FOE PETITION
Join FOE’s NO FOSSIL FUELS DIGITAL SNAP ACTION
Otway Gas Plant near Port Campbell, Victoria (source: Beach Energy website)