President's Report June 2021

MD

 

G7 Summit – not what it might have been

With Joe Biden and Boris Johnson both now making bold statements on the need for climate action, there were high hopes for this latest G7 meeting in Cornwall. But while the Group made some very encouraging announcements – including affirming the goal of constraining global warming to 1.5º C and agreeing to protect/restore 30 percent of the natural world by 2030 – the world’s 7 richest nations collectively failed to guarantee the necessary funds to drive the action required. It’s a big problem for the upcoming CoP26 in Glasgow in November, undermining trust between rich and developing nations, as Fiona Harvey reported in The Guardian (14/6/21):

Poor countries argue that the rich world did most to create the climate crisis, but the most vulnerable nations also face rising debt burdens from Covid-19, and have no money to invest in clean energy, low-carbon infrastructure or ways to adapt to extreme weather. 

One of the more impressive and decisive announcements to come out of the G7 was a commitment to phase out fossil fuels by 2025. However, The Guardian notes that the Group didn’t call for a halt to the exploitation of new fossil fuel resources. 

In her typical cut-through style, Greta Thunberg noted on Twitter:

For the umpteenth time the rich club has failed to deliver on its promise to channel $100bn a year to poor nations coping with a heating climate." "The world's richest democracies have responded with a plan to make a plan.

Ballarat’s ZNet 2030 Ambition

Back home many are thinking about how to drive the Ballarat Net 2030 community-wide target. BREAZE Inc. thanks those local residents who logged on for our networking event – Achieving Ballarat Net Zero by 2030 – discussion revolved around the achievability of the goal and what locals can do to help drive it. Making submissions to the City of Ballarat Draft Budget 2021-2022 was among the actions discussed, urging Council to allocate funds to drive the target. A 9 June Unscheduled Council Meeting  discussed the 17 verba/written submissions – several of which emerged from the networking event. At the meeting, Ballarat CEO, Evan King explained that due to the unfortunate timing of official State requirements, the Draft Budget had to be issued before the Council Plan which meant that the Draft Budget addressed the requirements of the pre-existing, and not the pending Council Plan. The CEO noted that community concerns regarding the environment had been heard. BREAZE Inc. understands that the City is currently developing a plan to address the Z-Net 2030 target for community -wide emissions.

MEMBER EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES 

Smart Living Ballarat

This month’s Smart Living Ballarat online talk on Wednesday, June 17 explored how to become a locavore and going plastic free with Steve Burns from Ballarat Farmers Market and Wendy from the Ballarat Wholefoods Collective. The talk also referenced other collectives local to Ballarat including Creswick and Buninyong. Plus, Wendy from the Ballarat Collective showed how to make our own cleaning products using minimal, natural ingredients! Catch up with the talk via Smart Living Ballarat Facebook  

Ballarat Green Drinks

Ballarat Green Drinks continues online. Apologies for the current hiatus. We hope to be back online soon, and back in face to face mode as soon as we can.  https://www.facebook.com/BallaratGreenDrinks

BREAZE Talks to Brett McDonald on Ballarat Today – Radio 3BA

The next BREAZE Inc. talk on 3BA is on Friday 25 June at 10:15 AM. We hope that members will tune in to hear BREAZE Inc. Board member, Paul Duggan talk to Brett about Smart Living Ballarat, the local institution he has managed on behalf of BREAZE Inc. for many years.

BREAZE Inc. Social Solar 

Thanks to the Victorian Government’s Grampians Renewable Energy (GRE) program, a $1.1 million investment in renewables and local jobs across the region, the FY 2020-21 has probably been the best year yet for BREAZE Inc. Social Solar. All up BREAZE Inc volunteers led by GRE Project Coordinator, Peter Reid, have overseen the installation of 450kW on 104 roofs across the Grampians region.

The beneficiaries –not-for-profits – have included disability service providers, sporting facilities and social housing. One standout example in Ballarat has been the Charles Anderson Grove retirement village operated by the Old Colonists’ Association (OCA), one of the oldest philanthropic organisations in the country. By combining funding from DELWP via the GRE program, a Bank Australia Impact Grant, and subsidies from Solar Victoria, BREAZE Inc in collaboration with the OCA and DELWP administered the  installation of  2-3 kW systems across the entire village –  27 cottages and the community centre – approx. 80kW in total.

DELWP   Amelia Penhall   BREAZE media event 1


Charles Anderson Grove – a village powered by solar.
L-R: Jo Barber, President OCA; Sam Sharkey, Bank Australia (Ballarat); Peter Reid BREAZE GRE Project Coordinator; Kathryn Campbell, DELWP | Regional Manager Community and Partnership Programs | Ballarat

 

Helping to decarbonise the economy one roof at time may seem slow but it’s a process that is also doing a lot to raise public awareness of the benefits of renewable energy. OCA President, Jo Barber reported that village residents had expressed pleasure in better understanding the implications of their energy needs after getting solar panels – as well as the cost benefits of course!

 

Please consider supporting the work of BREAZE Social Solar with a donation to One Dollar, One Watt  –- https://breaze.org.au/one-dollar-for-one-watt  All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

 

Board Meetings

If you have a passion for climate action and are interested in what we do please note BREAZE members are welcome to attend monthly Board meetings. Any member interested in joining the Board or in just attending the July Board meeting, now held via Zoom, should email me – 

All the best

Mary                                                            

Mary Debrett
President, June 2021