President's June Report

MD

It's official, the 2022 Federal election results show public endorsement of national climate action is widespread. We now have a commitment to accelerate the development of infrastructure required for the clean energy transition, to fast-track the integration of renewables into the national grid. 

 Although we finally have a national plan to green the grid, however, actions to date stop short of what is needed to meet our commitments under the Paris COP. Recent approval of WA's Scarborough gas field makes clear we must push harder for the much-needed ban on new fossil fuel investments – and for shut-down dates for coal-fired power stations

The WA gas field will blow out our emissions reductions targets, as Rhiannon Shine writes in her ABC online article, 'Scientists warn backing fossil fuel projects like Woodside's Scarborough will make meeting climate targets more difficult'

Climate scientist Bill Hare, the founder and CEO of the global research group Climate Analytics, said the development of any new fossil fuel projects including Scarborough was inconsistent with the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"What I'm seeing now is the gas industry is basically using the Russian-induced energy crisis as a justification for essentially busting the Paris Agreement," he said. 

In Australia, the current rise in energy prices, partially attributed to old coal fired-power stations going intermittently offline and partially to the war in Ukraine – which has pushed gas prices up as the world cancels Russian gas contracts in retaliation and desperately looks for alternative energy suppliers – has fostered conspiracy theories about renewables being more expensive because the sun isn't always shining and the wind ...  yada yada ... as if storage wasn't an option.

And rising energy prices have driven misinformation about the benefits of getting solar panels. Nothing new there of course! Last week, putting the myths to bed,  BREAZE's Peter Reid spoke to Steve Martin on ABC Ballarat about why getting solar panels is still a good investment, even in winter. If you missed it, you can catch it here

MEMBER ACTIVITIES

Smart Living Ballarat

This month on 15 June from 12:30-1:30 Smart Living Ballarat Coordinator, Ellen Burns, will be talking with Colleen Filippa of 15 Trees – who has pledged to plant one tree for everyone that tunes in to the next Smart Living Ballarat session online! Register here via SLB Facebook

They'll be discussing carbon offsetting, biodiversity, and all things trees. Come along and invite your friends to the event page. If you miss it, you can still catch it on the Smart Living Ballarat Facebook page

Ballarat Green Drinks

Ballarat Green Drinks, now hosted by BREAZE Secretary, Pat Hockey, will return on 16 June at 7pm at Lake View Hotel, with 'Destination Safe Earth' Plan E: A climate-centred security strategy, a presentation by Dr Liz Boulton, an ex-Army Officer, who has re-imagined military theory for the Anthropocene. Liz will introduce the concept, which involves a civilian led, civil mobilization against the hyper-threat of climate and environmental change, to rescue our number 1 ally – nature. Don't miss this opportunity to join the discussion on climate security, with Pat, Liz and other BREAZE members and friends.

BOARD ACTIVITIES

At the City of Ballarat Council meeting on May 25th BREAZE made two submissions.
Draft Budget Submission

You can download our submission to the Draft Budget for 2022-23

Noting Council's 2018 endorsement of the Climate Emergency and the worsening of climate impacts and extreme weather events since then, BREAZE has asked for 5% of overall Budget expenditure to be allocated to fast-tracking climate actions already outlined in the Council's Carbon Neutrality Plan Progress Update (Presented at Council on 23/2/22).

Environmentally Sustainable Design

 BREAZE board member, Sally Missing also made a submission in support of  Council Strategic Planner, Ed Riley's recommendation for funding the second stage of the  Elevating Environmentally Sustainable Design Project. You can read Sally's submission here.

World Environment Day 2022 Children's Writing Competition - encouraging our future environmentalists

This year the Children's writing competition attracted 121 entries from across four schools. The overall Competition winner was Otway Kelsall of Dana Street Primary School. The other school winners were Hollie Macdonald of Newington Primary, and Ayden Webb of Phoenix P-12 Primary School. There is also a video on the BREAZE Facebook site featuring samples of the children's writing. 

The judges also awarded Special Mention certificates and book vouchers to Niamh Rough, Harry Fellows, Astrid Buchanan, Mae Reid, Claire Gillett, Pippa Martin of Dana Street Primary; Hugo Rawlins, Esther Cutts, Jayden Troy and Eloise Lockwood of Newington Primary; Aleena Rehman, Thomas O'Connor, Ally Baker, Olivia Papageorgiou of Phoenix p-12 Primary; and Leni Romein of St Alipius Primary School. Click to read more about the awards ceremony, which was held at Ballarat Central Library on Monday 6 June, with the Mayor of Ballarat, Cr Daniel Moloney kindly officiating. 

Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and ideas about how you can help BREAZE achieve its mission, please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in attending should email me – 

All the best

Mary                                                        

Dr Mary Debrett
President, June 2022