Welcome to Friends of the Earth Melbourne July enews our state-wide monthly update. In this edition, join us at a Forest Collective meeting (RSVP spaces limited), and go online for a Koala info night with the SKAT collective. Book a spot for the Good Grief online workshop, and register to attend or go online for the Lighter Footprints and the fight against fossil gas event. Join us and our allies for a Global North-South in Climate Justice and Activism workshop, and a Cultural Responsiveness and Cultural Intelligences workshop in the lead up to Blockade IMARC 2021. Listen to a 3CR Dirt Radio podcast about the onshore gas threat in Victoria, take the Drillwatch pledge and join us online for its launch, sign a petition to oppose proposed Corio Bay floating gas terminals, and email the PM to deliver on offshore wind. Join Act on Climate’s info sessions to increase Australia’s climate targets in the lead up to the COP26 summit, sign a new petition, and see responses to the People’s Climate Strategy delivered across Victoria thanks to wonderful community support. Find out which two corporate mugs won the inaugural Cane Toad Awards, and become a new volunteer with FoE Melbourne at an online info session.
While forest defenders work around the clock in the bush, lockdowns in the city have meant that the Friends of the Earth Forests Collective has not been meeting for more than a year. With the recent storms toppling through multiple regions in eastern Victoria, we are reminded that our climate is rapidly changing. Whole ecosystems are at risk from rampant logging, fire, and now unprecedented storms. We think it's time to get the show back on the road. After talking with our allies in the regions, we are re-starting city-based monthly meetings at Friends of the Earth Melbourne, with a view to providing a platform for regional forest protection groups to share what they are doing and how folks in the city can support them. The first Forest collective meeting will happen this Thursday 15 July 15 from 7pm. Because of covid requirements, there is a cap on numbers. Please RSVP here.
If you love our fuzzy, dopey, warm national icon and want to know how you can help us to continue our work to advocate for these threatened koala species, join us for an online information night, July 29, 2021 at 6:30pm - 7:45pm. RSVP here
Climate grief, eco-anxiety, despair, dread, overwhelm, paralysis, guilt, frustration, anger... Just some of the heavy feelings that can be evoked by the systemic predicaments we find ourselves caught up in. The Good Grief Network program "10 Steps to Personal Resilience & Empowerment in a Chaotic Climate" creates a space for us to lean into and move through painful feelings about the state of the world together. Liz, Anja and Tessa from the Act on Climate collective will facilitate Good Grief sessions at Friends of the Earth Collingwood and online. Join the sessions to share, be heard, and listen, to deconstruct cultural narratives, build skills and knowledge, and reorient towards meaningful efforts while growing resilient communities.
Sunday afternoon sessions, weekly, in person in the Yami Lester Room at Friends of the Earth, starting 18 July. More info and bookings here. Bookings close Thursday 15 July.
Climate Justice Activism and Cultural Responsiveness workshops
These workshops, co-hosted with FoE, are organised by the Blockade IMARC Counter Conference working group as part of a series of workshops in the lead up to Blockade IMARC 2021. All money made will help First Nations people travel costs to Blockade IMARC and the counter conference, a concrete way to put into practice the lessons of this workshop.
Global North-South in Climate Justice and Activism 17 July. Get your tix here
Cultural Responsiveness & Cultural Intelligences 14 August. Get your tix here
The powerhouse grassroots climate group, Lighter Footprints, is ramping up its campaign against fossil gas. On Wednesday 28 July, Lighter Footprints will host The Fully Electric Home & the fight against gas at the Marwal Centre in Balwyn North. Attendees will hear from energy advisor Tim Forcey about transitioning to a fully-electric home as well as Friends of the Earth's Cam Walker about resisting new gas developments. Register for the event here (in person and online)
The temporary ban (moratorium) on onshore ‘conventional’ gas drilling, which has been in place across Victoria since 2014, expired on July 1. This will leave significant areas across Gippsland and South West Victoria exposed to gas exploration. The ban on unconventional gas drilling and fracking remains in place and is now enshrined in the state’s constitution. FoE believes that the decision by the Victorian government to reopen the state to gas companies is bad news for regional communities, for our farmers and for the climate. FoE is working to re-invigorate regional campaigning against gas drilling. We are asking people to sign up and show their opposition to new gas drilling.
You can sign the pledge on the Drillwatch website here.
You can join us for the online launch of Drillwatch on August 11. Please rsvp here.
For background on the campaign, and why we don’t need new gas drilling, please check here.
Viva Energy and Vopak are big fossil fuel companies who want to build floating gas import terminals in Corio Bay, Geelong. This could lock Victoria into using gas for the next 10 to 25 years, and stall the transition to renewable energy. This is the opposite direction we need to be going in. We need to significantly reduce Victoria's emissions by 2030. Environmental impacts of constructing the new terminal on the nearby Ramsar Wetlands in northern Corio Bay have not been investigated. We urgently need to send a strong message to the Victorian Planning Minister that Renewables, Not Gas are the future for Geelong! Please sign the petition here from our friends at the Geelong Sustainability group, and learn why we must stop the gas terminal proposed for Corio Bay.
As the threat of climate change worsens, Australia has the opportunity to kickstart an offshore wind sector to massively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create thousands of jobs. There are now at least twelve offshore wind proposals around the country, but only one thing standing in the way: Energy Minister Angus Taylor still hasn't delivered national offshore wind laws to kickstart the sector. Every day Taylor drags his feet on national offshore wind laws is a wasted opportunity to create thousands of jobs cutting emissions. Enough is enough. It’s time for the PM Scott Morrison to step in and fix Angus Taylor’s failures by bringing on a national offshore wind framework as a matter of urgency. 360 people like you have already emailed Morrison to step in, join us and email the PM here.
Time is running out for Australia to increase its 2030 climate target for the critically important COP26 summit. It's why FoE Melbourne's Act on Climate collective will throw everything at the issue for the next four months. Act on Climate will be on the ground in Liberal heartland seats in the inner-east of Melbourne to ramp up pressure on Morrison government MPs. We need to see the Prime Minister match the targets set by the United Kingdom and United States or beat them! We're going to need a lot of help to have impact in coming months, so please join us for two campaign info sessions to hear about our strategy:
Thurs 5 Aug - Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library, 6:30pm to 8:00pm register here
Thurs 12 Aug - Lido Cinema, Hawthorn, 6:30pm to 8:00pm register here
Help us build momentum by signing our new petition here
Politicians across Victoria receive People’s Climate Strategy
Our statewide Delivery Day for the People’s Climate Strategy was Friday 18 June, the day community members met with political representatives from every party in every region of Victoria to deliver copies of our People's Climate Strategy. From the coast, to the city, to the Murray, community members met with over 50 Members of Parliament to talk to them about the climate impacts they are already seeing unfold, and the local climate solutions they want to see rolled out. We framed the climate crisis as something that is here and now for people in Victoria, not decades away, or only at the polar ice caps. With personal stories and local community knowledge, we made climate change relevant to every MP. Just days after receiving copies, the Leader and Deputy leader of the Victorian Nationals publicly noted the strong community support for tackling the climate crisis. Our message even made it into the federal parliament, with Labor MP Ged Kearney calling on members of the Morrison government to read the People's Climate Strategy, video here. See Ballarat Courier and Seymour Telegraph articles on deliveries to regional MPs. Check out photos on Act on Climate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @actonclimatevic
And the winners are ...
In Melbourne on 9 July, Rio Tinto and Mayur Resources were awarded the Corporate Cane Toad Award for their roles in contributing to environmental destruction and/or human rights violations worldwide. The winners were announced at a ceremony in Melbourne after a month of public voting in which over 1,000 people voted for the six companies nominated. Read all about it here.
Are you passionate about protecting our ecosystems and taking action on climate change? Friends of the Earth Melbourne is working with communities across Victoria to stand up to big corporations and fight for a just and sustainable future. Join us for a volunteer induction session to find out how you can get involved! Register your interest here and join a zoom meeting for new volunteers Thursday 15 July at 5.30pm.
Keep up the great work until next month.