President's November Report 2021

MD The Glasgow CoP26 has come and gone and Australia has once more proven itself fossil of the world. While the last minute shift in the final CoP statement to phasing coal down, not out, has generally seen the summit cast as a failure, Richie Merzian, a former Australian government representative to the United Nations Climate Change Conference and director of climate and energy at The Australia Institute, points to the two methane-related initiatives as significant gains. As The Saturday Paper reported, 'One of those methane-related initiatives was the proposal from the United States and European Union for a global partnership to cut emissions of methane. More than 100 of the world’s governments signed on. Australia was not one of them.' Australia now is the world’s biggest exporter of methane. 

The key objective of the Glasgow CoP26 was to drive nations to increase the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) emissions cuts they had committed to in 2015.  According to Merzian, the Agreement reached at the Paris CoP25 of 2015 had three goals:

 “The first one’s mitigation, the second one is adaptation, and the third one is aligning finance. Really, the last six months has been about that third goal, the most overlooked one – how do we realign finance to actually invest in the solution, rather than keep investing in the problem.”

The second Glasgow CoP26 initiative, from which Australia was also absent, was a commitment by 36+ European and other English speaking nations, 'to stop state funding of all fossil fuels through their various development agencies'.  It's an  initiative that will hopefully see more investment finance shifted from the fossil fuel sector into renewable energy technologies and projects unconnected to CCS. So, despite our national shame we can perhaps take some comfort that others are moving forward.

MEMBER ACTIVITIES

Smart Living Ballarat

Many thanks to all BREAZE members and friends who have logged on for the Smart Living Ballarat talks throughout the year.  Thanks too, to our multi-talented Host, Sam Rodgers, for her enthusiasm and unerring ability to keep coming up with new topics and speakers to address the local appetite for sustainable lifestyle options. Hopefully 2022 will see in person meetings return! 

BREAZE BOARD ACTIVITIES 

BREAZE Talks - 3rd Friday of the Month 10:15 am on Radio 3BA's Ballarat Today with Brett McDonald - 

On 26 November 2021, newly appointed Project Manager for the BREAZE-hosted Grampians Community Power Hub, Sowmya Nagaraj, will be talking with Brett about the work of the Grampians Community Power hub. Sowmya, who has a Masters in Engineering (Sustainable Energy) previously worked on the Victorian Healthy Homes program. 

Grampians Community Power Hub (G-CPH)

The G-CPH Project Control Group was officially launched by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change,  Lily DAmbrosio, on 12 November at Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, the site of an off-grid solar/inverter/battery project that the G-CPH has approved for a feasibility study. The launch was also attended by the Mayor of Northern Grampians, Cr Tony Driscoll, members of Sustainability Victoria, members of the Community Association of Halls Gap and members of Pomonal Energy and BREAZE Inc. volunteers.

The G-CPH continues to engage with the 11 local government areas of the Grampians region to identify community energy projects, with the goal of developing a pipeline of shovel ready projects. The program is delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.  If you, or anyone you know, has an idea about how a local community group might benefit from a renewable energy project – solar array, solar plus battery, energy audit or energy saving appliances such as heat pump or air-conditioner – please get in touch.

Environmentally Sustainable Design:

Members of the BREAZE Inc. Board have also formed a sub-committee to work on events and advocacy related to ESD. If you are interested in being involved, please email

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, November 2021