President's Message January 2018

In reflecting over the Festive Season break on the challenges facing our society, environment and economy, it is apparent that there is a critical role for BREAZE to play in 2018 to provide our region’s resident’s businesses and community groups to build resilience in the face of a changing climate, changing economic landscape and changing social interactions.Ian Rossiter

The recent spate of extreme weather globally and 2017 climate data confirming the trend of the atmosphere and sea warming reinforces our need to galvanise our community to act on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As reported in The Age last week “The Federal Environment and Energy Minister waited until just before Christmas to release the latest national greenhouse gas emissions figures and review of climate policies. Buried in the back of the emissions report was a table revealing the nation’s carbon pollution has risen in each of the past 5 years.

What will confuse many is that Australia will probably meet its pledge to cut emissions by 5 percent by 2020 even though pollution is rising. Thank the special treatment Australia got during the Kyoto protocol period. We were permitted to increase emissions by 8 percent during the 2008-2012 period even as other rich nations agreed to cuts.

As actual emissions fell 128 millions short of that bloated goal, Australia generated a “surplus” it is now using to count towards the 2020 goal.

Five nations, including Germany and Britain, cancelled similar surpluses. A rising pollution trajectory, though, will eventually catch up with Australia. As part of the 2015 Paris climate deal, the Turnbull government pledged to slice 2005 levels emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2030 and the surplus will long be used up by then.

BREAZE therefore needs to work collaboratively with local and state government to encourage residents and businesses achieve the renewable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets that these levels of government have set.

We therefore will focus our efforts in 2018 in delivering community renewable energy projects, providing the “how to” knowledge to residents through the Smart Living Ballarat workshops, providing advocacy to all levels of government to implement emission reduction targets that can reverse the current trends, and encouraging our members to participate in social media, letter writing and rallies that call for safe climate action.

Our BREAZE Board is wanting to survey members and readers of our newsletter to determine where our members and supporters think we should prioritise our time and resources. Please take the time to complete the survey monkey via the link in the newsletter this month. The Board will conduct a strategic planning workshop next month using the data received.