Category Archives: climate

Our Man in Marrakech at COP22 UN climate talks

John Englart in Marrakech

John Englart in Marrakech


It’s a long way between Marrakech and Moreland, but Fawkner resident and member of Sustainable Fawkner has made the journey to attend the United Nations climate talks.

Before he left he organised a brief interview with the Moreland Leader, which was published on 7 November.

Moreland Leader 7 November 2016.

Moreland Leader 7 November 2016.

John will be attending some of the negotiating sessions as an official observer on behalf of Climate Action Moreland. He was at the opening plenary session on Monday.

He will also be attending briefing sessions with the Australian lead negotiator Patrick Suckling, various side events and forums that are organised as part of the conference, and perhaps an opportunity to meet Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Energy and Environment minister Josh Frydenberg.

His attendance at the conference was accredited through the Climate Action Network Australia, one of the regional nodes of the global Climate Action Network. He is working with other CAN activists from around the world at the conference in articulating stronger action on climate change at the global level.

It is also an opportunity for John to catch up in person with other grassroots and policy activists that he corresponds and interacts with.

Here is a picture of John with Irish environmental scientist Dr Cara Augustenborg at COP22 discussing climate and politics in Ireland and Australia (and the US election). The smiley earth ball was used in the opening ceremony of the conference.

John Englart & Dr Cara Augustenborg

John Englart & Dr Cara Augustenborg

He attended the press conference of NGO groups responding to the surprise election of Donald Trump. The mood was more somber and more determined after the election results, that action on climate, if anything, needs to be increased as climate impacts of extreme weather become more apparent.

One of the interesting insights he has seen in Marrakech is the integration of urban agriculture in the city landscape, with olives, date palms, and citrus trees adorning many of the streets and parks. Perhaps that is one idea worthy of investigation in Moreland Council’s upcoming urban food strategy.

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Who is standing for NE ward of Moreland Council in 2016?

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For Moreland Council North East ward, which Fawkner is a part of, 4 Councillors are to be elected, from 20 candidates standing. See VEC Moreland City Council 2016 Nominations. The following is the list of candidates as they will appear on the ballot paper. Climate Action Moreland have done a simple survey of candidates on climate and sustainability policies which are worth checking out. Two candidate forums have been organised so far for North East Ward.

The election is on Saturday 22 October. See the election results.

Candidate Forums

Fawkner Community House have invited North–East Ward Council candidates to a community forum with Fawkner residents about how candidates will represent the interests of people in Fawkner if they are elected at the council election this month.
When: Sunday 9 October 2pm to 5pm
Where: 95-97 Major Road Fawkner
Details: Fawkner Community House

Save Coburg and Pentridge Action Group are organising a candidates forum to hear from candidates and ask them questions.
When: Thursday, October 13 at 7 PM – 9:30 PM
Where: Coburg Uniting Church on the corner of Louisa St & Victoria St, Coburg
Registration: Facebook Event details
Storify Report: Urban Development in spotlight at NE Ward #MorelandVotes candidates forum

Pentridge Community Action Group reported: “Show of Hands from Candidates present at the Moreland Council NE Ward Forum re question posed by Prof Hamel-Green on opposing > 4 storey development in the Pentridge Precinct. Candidates with hands raised are George Georgiou, Sue Bolton, David Nunns, Antonio Bonifazio, and Imogen Jubb. A late response was made by Francesco Timpano”.

A third candidates forum organised at Merlynston.
When: Tuesday 18 October 7.30pm to 9pm
Details: Facebook event

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Wills Candidates sign Australian Conservation Foundation pledge

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Three of the ten candidates standing for the Wills Federal electorate have signed the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) pledge: Samantha Ratnam (The Greens), Camille Sydow (Animal Justice Party) and Zane Alcorn (Socialist Alliance). This pledge is an undertaking that if elected they will:

  • Support Clean Energy. Transitioning Australia to 100 percent clean energy.
  • Cut Pollution. Moving to zero net climate pollution before 2050 and closing dirty coal burning power stations.
  • Protect our reefs, rivers, forests and wildlife. Supporting a strong set of laws and institutions to improve biodiversity and regulate pollution.

Other candidates have taken away the pledge card to consider but have not yet committed. These include: Peter Khalil (Labor), Will Fulgenzi (Socialist Equality), Tristram Chellow (Sex Party).

This is an important pledge as it contains commitments to phase out polluting coal and increase renewable energy to 100 percent, to transition to a zero carbon economy before 2050, and to protect our forests, rivers and reefs. All these are essential if we are to meet out international climate commitments of the Paris Agreement.

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Abbott/Turnbull Government record on environment and climate action

Environment Minister Greg Hunt achievements

Environment Minister Greg Hunt achievements

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that he will call a double dissolution election for Saturday July 2. Time to review the Abbott/Turnbull record on the environment.

Climate Action Moreland reports on a recent public opinion survey that 57 per cent of Australians think the Australian Government is not doing enough on climate change and want to see more climate action.

The Australian Conservation Foundation have prepared a list of the Good, The bad, and the inconclusive achievements of the Government with Environment Minister Greg Hunt. You be the judge:

The Abbott/Turnbull Government environmental record

We’ve examined the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s environmental record and found much more bad than good.

As the federal election draws nearer, it’s worth remembering the world we hand on to future generations is the result of decisions our elected representatives make today.
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Environmentality Febuary 5th 2016 – Interview with John Englart

Sustainable Fawkner member John Englart talks about attending the UN Climate Conference in Paris, the strengths and weaknesses of the Paris Agreement, and the inmportance of continued grassroots activity to pressure governments and businesses to step up action commensurate with the goals and framework set in Paris.

Environmentality on 98.9 North West FM

On the program today we spoke to Australian citizen journalist and climate activist John Englart about the Paris Climate Agreement!

On the show we analysed the Paris Agreement, discussed its strengths and weaknesses, spoke about Australia’s position on climate action, and John provided advice on where to go from here. Todays program is well worth a listen, if you missed the show you can listen to it here!

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John Englart recently attended the UN climate conference in Paris as an accredited NGO observer delegate for Climate Action Moreland, and as a climate advocate participating in, and observing civil society protests.

Read about John’s experience in Paris on his blog!: http://takvera.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/the-paris-moment-for-climate-justice.html..

This report that John wrote analysing the agreement for Climate Action Moreland is also very insightful and worth a read: http://climateactionmoreland.org/2016/02/03/the-paris-moment-and-beyond-john-englart-reports-back-to-climate-action-moreland/

The Agreement in Paris was undoubtably a historic moment, with 195 countries in attendance agreeing to reduce global…

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Earth hour preceeds electricity blackout in parts of Fawkner

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Earthhour was last Saturday night. Did you turn out your lights for the hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm?

We had extra excitement here in Fawkner near Major Rd. A blackout in the local electricity grid enforced a measure of compliance slightly later in the evening. Those who had already participated in earth hour would have been well prepared with candles, matches and flashlights.

The electricity was down for perhaps 40 minutes, but provided a unique time to see the stars and the night sky more clearly from suburbia.

Around the world hundreds of millions of people participated in earth hour or were part of earth hour events to raise the profile and light the way on climate change. It isn’t the saving of power that is important (although those who control our grid now factor in the drop in demand over earthhour itself), but the symbolism involved in people calling for action to curtail the environmental degradation of the earth’s life systems and the looming threat posed by climate change.

People in about 172 countries participated in the earthhour event.

“From the Earth’s extremes to outer space, people came together to send a clear message that action on climate is on top of their agenda. Earth Hour confirms our belief that in order to change climate change we need to act together. WWF will continue to do its share to shape strong, global climate solutions,” said Sudhanshu Sarronwala, Chair, Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global.

According to the WWF, in Moscow the Kremlin switched off the lights while citizens switched on their power for change by collecting close to 70,000 signatures to petition a moratorium on the exploration of Arctic oil.

In Malaysia, citizens attended the first-ever Earth Hour 2015 carnival in Petaling Jaya and answered the call to come out in large numbers to show their support for a city council declaration to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent within the next five years.

Here is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging participation in Earth hour in 2015. “No individual action is too small, no collective vision is too big. This is the time to use your power. Join the global movement to change climate change….Together let’s make climate change history.”

Over 1,400 landmarks switched off the lights on Saturday including the Empire State Building and the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Hong Kong’s iconic skyline. Close to 40 UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Acropolis in Athens, the walled city of Baku, the Cologne Cathedral and the Galapagos Islands also participated.

Earthhour started in Sydney in 2007. It has proven to be a powerful symbol of education in motivating change for more sustainable choices.

So, if you turned out your lights, you were a small part of this too. To read more and see photos and videos of earth hour visit http://www.earthhour.org/media-centre

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Climate change is #OnMyAgenda in Fawkner for the G20

Australia is hosting the G20 and climate change is not on the agenda. Come along to a screening of ‘Reasons for Hope‘ film and a discussion to show that Australians want climate change #OnMyAgenda. Local resident John Englart will lead the discussion.

When: 6.00pm Saturday 15 November
Where: Fawkner Community House, CB Smith Reserve
Bring a plate of food to share.
You’ll join friendly local people who care.

Click here for details and to RSVP:

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was pushing for climate change to be off the agenda at the Brisbane G20 meeting at all. However the United States and France have exerted pressure and it will be listed as a minor item under Energy Efficiency.

As climate change has been taken ‘off the main agenda’ by the Australian Government, the Australian Conservation Foundation is organising for people round Australia (and elsewhere) to put climate change #onmyagenda in self organised events and parties from November 12-15. Anyone can organise an event for their community. You can register your event here.

John Englart, as a member of Sustainable Fawkner and Climate Action Moreland is holding an event called Climate change is #OnMyAgenda in Fawkner on November 15, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Fawkner Community House.

If you wish, you may also attend Sustainable Fawkner’s monthly meeting 4pm to 5.30pm, Come a little early to do a little bit of veggie gardening in our community garden.

The #OnMyAgenda event will start about 6pm. All welcome.

John is a member of Sustainable Fawkner, Climate Action Moreland and has been blogging on climate issues for over 10 years.

Thanks!

Solar PV Panel installations in Fawkner exceed 5 per cent of dwellings

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In my travels around the internet I found this site put together by the Australian PV Institute showing the level of installation of solar photovoltaic panel installation by postcode or Local Government area.

In Fawkner there have been about 246 solar PV installations. This amounts to approximately 5.4% of the estimated 4520 dwellings in our suburb with an installed capacity of 571kW.

This is lower than the Moreland average of 6.1%. Moreland Local Government Area (LGA) and is also below other municipal areas in Melbourne’s north. Maribyrnong has 7% solar installation, Moonee Valley is on 6.5%, Darebin is on 6.9%, Banyule on 6.7%, Whittlesea on 9.7%, and Hume on 11%.
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Greening Moreland Forum – Saturday 30 November

20131130-Greening-Moreland-ForumMoreland Energy Foundation in conjunction with Moreland City Council are holding a forum for residents, community groups and businesses to discuss and network on environmental sustainability issues, to make a greener Moreland.

It is a chance to catch up with the many groups and individuals across the municipality working on sustainability from many different angles.

The event will also provide an opportunity for ideas and input into the creation of the Moreland Community Climate Action Plan being developed by Moreland Council.

An introductory session will use a 2 minute market process, allowing every person an opportunity in turn to speak uninterrupted and explain what they or their organisation are doing regarding environmental or sustainability activities, or areas they are interested in working in.

When: 9.45am to 1.00pm Saturday 30 November
Where: Coburg Town Hall – Concert Hall, 90 Bell St, Coburg (Entry at the back via Urquhart St)
Booking: Attendance is free but RSVP at MEFL website is required for Catering purposes
Lunch: Lunch Food provided free after the forum.
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Can you Zero your Waste for a Week? November 2013 challenge

Take the Zero Waste for a week ChallengeMoreland Council is particularly active in reducing it’s carbon footprint and achieving carbon neutrality in it’s operations. This still involves purchase of international carbon offset credits.

Waste collection, storage and landfill is one of the big costs, in terms of money and in generating greenhouse gases. If homes and businesses can reduce waste through more recycling and composting, then this is a substantial saving in both council expense, which can then be directed into other amenities, and in reducing carbon pollution from waste management.

To highlight the importance of reducing waste Moreland Council is urging Moreland residents to take the Zero Waste for a Week Challenge this November, to reduce your landfill waste to zero for one week.

“It’s not as hard as it sounds, changing the way you buy goods and produce, composting food scraps and recycling more all make a huge difference. Free workshops will be available throughout November on food waste avoidance and composting to help you cut your waste to zero. For more information or to register call Council on 9240 1111 or go to Zero waste for a Week Challenge” says the Council promotional material.

Registration for the challenge is only open to Moreland Residents but information is open to everyone. Tips and information on how you can achieve Zero Waste, or even substantially minimise your waste is available from Moreland Council – Zero waste for a Week Challenge. The first 150 residents to register will receive a free Waste Wise kit.