Submission to Bayside City Council Regarding the Draft Carbon Neutrality Action Plan 2017 – 2020

Bayside City Council has prepared a draft update to its Carbon Neutrality Action Plan for the period 2017 – 2020. In the Draft Update, BCCAG is acknowledged as a key stakeholder and accordingly our feedback has been requested. This is the BCCAG response to that request.

Download the BCCAG Submission to BCC here.

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February 2018 Public Forum – The Last Tim Tam

Rod Quantock
The Last Tim Tam

Join us with our guest Rod Quantock OAM, Chief Investigator of the creative research project, ‘The Last Tim Tam’, to explore everyday life in Australia in the 2030s.

This show prompts us to see climate change through a new lens. Rod collaborates with leading researchers in climate science, popular culture and the humanities and social sciences to imagine the not-too-distant future.

The Last Tim Tam project draws on the archive of Australian popular culture in order to reimagine the scientific, environmental, economic and political predictions about Australia’s future.

How will Kath and Kim’s suburban lifestyles be impacted by rising average temperatures, resource scarcity and regular wild weather events?
What ingredients will be available to contestants on Masterchef in 2030?
Where, and how, will we ‘Getaway’ in the future?

The Last Tim Tam makes climate change very personal, and encourages us to think laterally and creatively about how our collective future might look, sound and feel.

Bookings are through Eventbrite – Rod Quantock tickets .

Please note change of venue:

Highett Community Centre
2 Livingston St, Highett
Wed February 28 – 7.30pm
$10 includes tea and coffee

We have already sold many tickets to this event and it will be advertised at the Sustainable Living Festival (details below). If you wish to attend, please book asap.

Alan Pears – Turnbull has politicked himself into irrelevance on energy and climate in 2018

As we approach the end of the year, it’s useful to look back and forward. Now is an auspicious time, as two major energy-related reports have been released this week: the federal government’s review of their climate change policies, and a discussion paper from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) on future energy paths.

The difference between the two is striking. The AEMO paper is practical, direct and realistic. On the other hand, the climate policy review relies essentially on Australia buying lots of international carbon permits to meet our Paris target (and, implicitly, on state governments taking up the challenge their Canberra colleagues have largely abanondoned).

It’s amusing to read a document that plays with numbers in such creative ways. But it is a fairy story, and it’s no way to drive national climate policy.

I almost feel as though I could just change the dates and reprint my article reviewing prospects for energy in 2017:

2017 is the year when many long-festering energy policy problems must be addressed. Our outdated energy market model is falling apart. The gas industry is lining its pockets at the expense of Australian industry. Climate policy is urgent, but controversial among key decision-makers. Our fossil fuel exports are under threat from global forces.

But things have in fact shifted a long way – the revolution is accelerating and unstoppable. The federal government is almost irrelevant; the public statements and policies it presents are simply aimed at getting “something” through the Coalition party room, or trying to throw blame on others. It’s very sad.

The real games are being played out within state governments; in battles between energy policy agencies and regulators; by emerging industry players who do not even have formal roles in energy legisation; and by business and the community as they defend themselves from the failures around them by implementing “behind the meter” solutions and working together.

The real heavy lifters

Medals of Valour should be awarded to Chief Scientist Alan Finkel, AEMO chief executive Audrey Zibelman, and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

The government’s response to this year’s Finkel Review showed that no amount of compromise would allow a sensible energy and climate policy to pass through the minefield of the Coalition party room. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, both of whom know what they need to do, simply have too little political capital within that place to drive realistic energy policy.

But the Finkel Review also successfully recommended many changes that will help to fix the physical operation of the grid. Innovation and the laws of physics have finally begun to triumph over market politics and ideology.

AEMO worked out a way to get around the glacial and obstructive tactics of the Australian Energy Market Commission on demand-side action by setting up a “pilot project” to drive demand response. It has been clear for decades that this is a very cost-effective tool. Zibelman has been a voice of practical reality and clear understanding of the future of energy, including the demand side, and AEMO’s future energy paths reflects that.

Weatherill has weathered a storm of abuse over his state’s innovative energy strategy. His government has shown how a diversified approach can transform an energy system in little more than a year. But he needs to put more effort into long term energy efficiency and energy productivity improvement measures integrated with renewables and storage, to reduce pressure on electricity systems over time. For example, home cooling comprises a third of South Australia’s peak electricity demand, but could be slashed by efficient buildings and cooling equipment.

What lies ahead

Looking forward, the coming year will be shaped by some key issues, some of which are already playing out at a frenetic pace. Consider a small sample of many recent events:

  • As mentioned, AEMO has released a discussion paper framing a very different electricity future, and including a low-carbon scenario.
  • The new battery in South Australia has delivered remarkable outcomes, helping to stabilise the grid in ways that few imagined.
  • The Victorian Essential Services Commission has proposed a new “time of day” feed-in price for rooftop solar that reaches 29 cents per kilowatt-hour in afternoons and evenings. If approved, this will be a game-changer, as adding battery storage to rooftop solar will become far more attractive.
  • The Energy Networks Association, not the gas industry, has released a zero emission gas strategy at last.
  • The annual report on the National Energy Productivity Plan (remember that?) shows we’re falling behind even the government’s weak target: not surprising given the miniscule resources allocated.

Meanwhile the federal government has released energy modelling to underpin ongoing negotiation on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) that is simply irrelevant and embarrassing. The Energy Security Board’s involvement in this has undermined perceptions of its independence, especially when it is contrasted with the vision AEMO is discussing in its paper.

While the states have agreed to continue discussion on the NEG in April, there are some major hurdles. Primarily, states must be allowed to set and achieve their own energy targets: the federal energy minister has put the blame for problems on the states, and they now have to be seen by their voters to act.

Second, the design must ensure it does not give the dominant energy companies even more power to distort markets. Some members of the Energy Security Board seem to understand the challenges, and are optimistic they can be overcome. Time will tell.

As Turnbull has said, we live in exciting times.

November 2017 Public Forum – Tomorrow (Demain)

Due to the number of people requesting tickets for this event the Board have decided to use Eventbrite for booking and printing tickets. This will give us a better idea of seating requirements and catering.

Therefore Bookings are essential

click here to make a booking and print your tickets

BCCAG has been able to access a copy of Tomorrow (Demain) that was shown at the French Film Festival this year. Mostly spoken in English with some sub titles, this film is very uplifting and a fitting end to our turbulent year. It comes highly recommended.

This is the final Forum for the year and will include tea, coffee, wine and nibbles. Your donation of $10 will help to defray our costs.

Please note the change of venue for this event.

In this inspiring and essential César award-winning documentary, beloved French actor-filmmaker Mélanie Laurent (Boomerang, AF FFF16) teams with ecological rights advocate Cyril Dion to address the world’s grand environmental problems, and to explore how local communities across the globe are creating solutions.

In 2012, a study was published that announced the impending potential demise of the human race. Unable to ignore the hard facts that food, water and oil would be scarce within the lifetime of their children, directors Laurent and Dion set about visiting ten vastly different countries to explore what was being done to counteract the impending catastrophe. During their journey, they met the pioneers who are reinventing agriculture, energy, the economy, democracy and education.

By focussing on grassroots solutions and intermingling the serious with the playful, Tomorrow entertains while giving the audience autonomy to both engage in and change a situation in which everyone is involved. Above all, the message is one of resounding hope for a better future. This is essential viewing for anyone wanting to know what they can do to help save the planet.

Highett Community Centre
2 Livingstone St, Highett
Wed November 29 – 7.30pm
$10 includes tea, coffee, wine and nibbles

Your chance to make a change

Your chance to make a change

Just do it

Now is the time

Coming up in this next week are two events that may encourage the government to accept that climate change is real and that the people are demanding positive action.  Here is a chance to show your support and be part of a surge ……..

The first event is an exposé that is promising to be explosive. Don’t miss the new dirt on Adani as we build up to our National Day of Action to #StopAdani

On Monday ABC TV at 8.30pm on Four Corners.  A trailer and further information here.

This exposé builds up to the next event

#StopAdani Big Day of Action
The #StopAdani movement is uniting in a big day of action on Saturday, October 7. Join us!

We’ll create human signs so big that they can’t be ignored, at iconic locations across Australia in a huge national day of action.  www.stopadani.com/actionday

Will you join us to create a human sign in Melbourne so big it can’t be ignored?

Venue: Princes Park, Royal Parade, Carlton North

Dress: Wear scuba gear, dress up as your favourite reef creature or wear bright colours for the reef

Bring: A picnic, your family (kids welcome!), friends, pets and a footy

What to expect: A fun, festival atmosphere with picnicking, music, singing, face-painting, sculpture-making, a giant human sign and in true Melbourne style, a bit of footy fun!

Let’s kick some goals for the reef and Stop Adani!
Together, we can stop this mine and create a better world, powered by clean energy, where our reefs and communities thrive. 

Watch for the BCCAG Sign at the Event!

A BCCAG Group will be in the front carriage of the train which departs from Sandringham on Sat 7th at 11.10am. We will get off at Melb Central and then by tram ​to Princes Park to arrive just after 12.00 midday.

October 2017 Public Forum – Marine Invertebrates Museums Victoria

Tim-OHara

 

Tim O’Hara
Senior Curator
Marine Invertebrates
Museums Victoria

 

 

In this role, Tim investigates the distribution of biodiversity across the ocean seafloor, by combining data from museum collections from across the planet. This data allows his team to study the evolution of the deep-sea fauna, assist governments to plan for marine parks, and assist the United Nations to manage oceanic resources. His latest expedition was to the ‘abyss” off Eastern Australia where a large team of international scientists explored biodiversity from up to 4800 m below the sea surface, a feat not previously achieved in Australian waters.

Tim O’Hara will give a presentation about his work and the latest expedition he led surveying Australia’s ocean Abyss. He will show some of his latest findings and put them in a wider ecological and biogeographical context. He will show how marine biodiversity is distributed across the oceans and how this may be altered by climate change.

Uniting Church Hall
21 Trentham St Sandringham
Wed October 25 – 7.30pm
Donations requested

 

September 2017 Public Forum – Nature as a Climate Solution

 

 

Tria Manley
Community Organiser
The Wilderness Society Victoria

 

The Great Forest National Park – Nature as a climate solution.

 

Land clearing and deforestation not only impact greatly on the native and endangered species that live in impacted areas, but contribute dramatically to climate change. Protecting forests is an often overlooked part of the solution to fighting climate change, particularly in the Central Highlands of Victoria, home to some of the most carbon-dense forests on Earth.

Hear about how creating the Great Forest National Park will help mitigate catastrophic climate change, as well as safeguard Melbourne’s water supply, provide a sanctuary for endangered species, rejuvenate regional communities through tourism and new job opportunities, and offer a playground on Melbourne’s doorstep for all Victorian’s to enjoy.

Uniting Church Hall
21 Trentham St  Sandringham
Wed September 27  –  7.30pm
Donations requested