When Cr Belinda Moloney saw that councillors were drinking water from single-use plastic bottles at their meetings, she got an idea. At the new council’s first meeting on 1 December 2020, she handed out a mug to each of the 10 other councillors – which can be used again and again, while at the same time sending the important message for many meetings to come: Put climate first in every decision.
On Instagram and Facebook, Councillor Jim Mason posted a photo of himself holding the mug, and commenting: “A thoughful gift. Zero emissions are the only way to ensure meaningful jobs in the future. Otherwise jobs will focus on survival in a diminished society.”
By Monica Winston
Thanks to everyone who voted for me and who voted for any Put Climate First alliance candidates or who helped us out in any way including allowing us to put signs outside your house, putting signs up for us, conducting interviews, donating money, graphic design, sharing posts etc. Especially thanks to Mik, Tony and Colin from The Sustainable Hour who supported us hugely as our goals are the same.
Also thanks to anyone else who ran for election with a campaign for immediate action on reversing the climate crisis. Nothing else will ensure the continuity of life on our planet. After decades of inaction, we now have 10 years to complete the bulk of this so we need to start NOW.
As an alliance of 7 women across 4 municipalities, 6 of whom have never run for election before and the seventh Bryony Edwards in the City of Darebin in Melbourne who encouraged a room full of people to run for council in Geelong in March (not to mention her calls to action on many many occasions), our goal was to:
1. Change the pre election conversation to the need for immediate climate action on the climate and ecological emergency and to educate the public and normalise what is needed in our 4 points ie:
*Zero Emissions by 2030,
*Localise Goods and Services,
*Regenerate Ecosystems (to “drawdown” the last few decades of CO2, provide habitat and safe food growing options and regenerate soils away from the current move towards permanent desertification…(see doco Kiss The Ground if you need more info on this)
2. Give people options to vote to Put Climate First for those who may not vote for a candidate from a political party for various reasons
3. Educate other candidates who may be unaware what the climate status quo is or what we can do about it
4. Get a candidate/s elected to work at local government to ensure we get the action we need now that climate emergency declarations have been made (by 3 out of the 4 councils as Colac Otway have not yet declared it which is why Susan Langridge would have been such a fantastic councillor)
We are delighted that we seem to have achieved all 4 especially now that Belinda Moloney has been elected in Kardinia Ward, Geelong. She is a brilliant professional woman with a PHD and her feet firmly on the ground having grown her own food for many years and also is highly educated and respected in her workplace as an educator. She is hard working, open minded and keen to learn and represent the best interests of all. A great asset to have in council and another woman totalling 4 now.
Congratulations to the people in Torquay Ward who were elected, especially to Kate Gazzard who got the highest vote and stands for Zero emissions by 2030 as a Greens councillor. Also congratulations to Liz Pattinson, Rose Hodge and Paul Barker. May you deliver the action we need and have the insight and courage to say no to anything that is not. Also congratulations to the others who ran, some of whom were previously councillors and devoted many hours of your time to working for the electorate in the way you saw best.
Also congratulations to the others elected in Surf Coast Shire (all women!) and to those re-elected in Geelong. May the Geelong, Surfcoast, Colac Otway and Darebin councils truly deliver inspiring targets and milestones that match what is needed in the climate crisis. Nothing else is acceptable. As elected servants to the people of this region, your job is to make sure you do what is needed to take care of the people and species here. There is literally NO time to waste.
Lastly thanks to our support team which includes my fellow candidates who’ve all been wonderful courageous women who’ve been willing to step up and devote your time and money (with support from family and friends) and to confront your fears in order to do what most people wouldn’t dare ie to put yourself out there for the greater good and to be a conduit for the natural world to have a voice. I can proudly say I have done everything I could possibly think of to do at this point in time and will have no regrets.
Monica Winston, Torquay
Congratulations to Belinda Moloney – the only new councillor in Geelong Council. The other 10 candidates were all re-elected from the previous Council. Photo from the stairs of city hall on 4 November 2020.
Here’s what Belinda writes about her background and motivation on her Facebook page:
→ Read more about Cr Belinda Moloney on www.putclimatefirst.org/belinda
[ Global outlook ] Danish government to #putclimatefirst in every decision:
Carbon emissions must now be taken into account in all parliamentary bills and political proposals
An inspirational initiative for governments at all levels around the planet: Just as one counts on the socio-economic costs of bills and proposals, the government will now count the climate impact and thereby streamline the green thinking in all ministries. Policy proposals with a climate impact above a certain level must be discussed in the government’s new Green Committee
Climate Minister Dan Jørgensen (Social Democrats) is now following up on Minister of Finance Nicolai Wammen’s announcement on Friday of new socio-economic climate calculations with a guide on how all relevant bills and major political initiatives from now on must also be assessed for their climate impact, reported the Danish newspaper Information.
“When we make policy in Denmark, we must fundamentally take the environment, climate and nature into account in a way that has not been done before,” said Dan Jørgensen, who today will be publishing his new Guide on assessing consequences for climate, environment and nature.
“For decades, we have been really good at counting on all the economic dimensions of what we do, and that also makes sense, but now it is being supplemented with a much better decision-making based on its environmental impact,” he said.
Net zero emissions target for Australia could launch $63bn investment boom
Modelling shows moving towards a net zero emissions economy would unlock financial prospects in sectors including renewables and manufacturing.
→ Read more in The Guardian
Doctors put health, community and planet first
“I solemnly pledge to dedicate my life to the service of humanity, and to the protection of natural systems on which human health depends. The health of people, their communities, and the planet will be my first consideration and I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, as well as reverence for the diversity of life on Earth. (…)
To do no harm, I will respect the autonomy and dignity of all persons in adopting an approach to maintaining and creating health which focuses on prevention of harm to people and planet. (…)
I make these promises solemnly, freely, and upon my honour. By taking this pledge, I am committing to a vision of personal, community, and planetary health that will enable the diversity of life on our planet to thrive now and in the future.”
~ Excerpts of a pledge for health workers published in the British medical journal The Lancet: ‘A pledge for planetary health to unite health professionals in the Anthropocene’
Why 2030 — not 2050 — is the crucial time frame: We need zero emissions at emergency speed.
“Mobilising for zero emissions by 2030 is critical. A 2050 timeframe will not prevent catastrophic outcomes. Long-term targets are an excuse for procrastination. That has been the history of international climate policy-making. The short term is crucial: what we do now and before 2030 matters, not aspirations about 2050.”
The underestimation of the seriousness of the climate reality today poses grave consequences for the future safety, health and well-being of our societies, the capacity of governments to protect the people, and regional and global stability.
The resource paper Climate Reality Check 2020 draws together current climate research from around the world to present 20 critical observations, insights and understandings to help inform and guide the stark choices that now stand before us.
→ View, download, print at www.climaterealitycheck.net
“I really want to see a better future for Geelong and frankly, I am here to bring it.”
~ Belinda Moloney, Kardinia candidate, in the forum’s closing statement at 1:03:21
Surf Coast Shire
Geelong Indy on Friday 9 October 2020