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.”
[ 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
We are delighted that Bryony Edwards who is running for North East Ward in Darebin Council in Melbourne is joining us.
Bryony has been a huge inspiration for people who work in reversing the climate crisis to step up to run for local government. She and her partner Adrian Whitehead have been active in this space for a number of years, setting up CACE – Community and Council Action in the Climate Emergency, participating in Darebin City Council’s community reference group and establishing the political party called Save The Planet in which they have attracted other candidates and have themselves run for election under.
Thanks to a campaign by a small number of people including Bryony and Adrian, Darebin City Council was the first local government globally to declare a climate emergency and to create a city wide strategic plan in response. There are now 1,780 councils who have followed Darebin’s leadership to declare a climate emergency.
In March 2020, Bryony gave an inspiring talk about why people who want real action on the climate should run for local government at the Sustainable Living Festival in Geelong put on by Transition Streets Geelong. She gave even more detail on this inspiring call to action in an episode of The Sustainable Hour which is available as a podcast.
Bryony has had a major influence on the establishment of our campaign as people realise that climate action in our region depends on having councillors who are prepared to deal with the reality of what we are facing. We feel very grateful for her influence and that she is now joining us with her many years of experience and a track record of successfully influencing her community, her Council and many others around the world.
→ Read about Bryony Edwards’ council policy
→ In detail, What Bryony Edwards will work for if elected
“When water becomes the same price as gold, the wealthy will always be able to afford it. But those people who are on the margins, less wealthy, who are working pay to pay and struggling to put food on the table, those are the people who are first affected by climate change. The people in my ward are such an important group of people, and I really want them to understand that I will represent them in Council. I will be a voice for them – to support everybody to get on board and make a change for the environment.”
~ Monique Connell, ‘Put Climate First’ candidate for the Windermere Ward at the Geelong Council elections