As another mammoth year draws to a close, it's a pleasure to bring you this month's news from the frontlines across the country, before we take some time out to power up for 2019.
Make environmental justice your new years resolution and become a friend of FoE, get involved with your local group or drop me a line to find out how to start a group in your area.
Help FoE FNQ and the Kuranda community stop KUR-World satellite suburb
and prevent the damage this would cause to the ecologically fragile Myola valley.
This large development of 171 hectares would provide accommodation for several thousand tourists and facilities for 1400 day visitors with a shopping and business centre helipad plus sport facilities- including a 12 hole golf course.
All this is planned right in the middle of an important ecological corridor for endangered species such as the Southern Cassowary. It also contains the endangered Kuranda tree frog and Myola palm- 2 species only found in this area.
The government needs to refuse this application as it is too big and in the wrong place. Write a submission now
UN Climate Talks Underway
As the UN climate talks open this week - Friends of the Earth International has launched a bold new vision of what a just energy transformation could look like.
The talks come less than two months after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that even 1.5 degrees of warming will have huge planetary impacts and could wipe out 90% of coral reefs, and that the consequences of 2 degrees will be devastating and potentially irreversible. Amid fears that the talks will yet again fail to deliver the fair and ambitious climate action that is needed to address the scale of the climate crisis, FoE is organising thousands of people outside the talks to build pressure on the world leaders who are negotiating our future, and also bringing delegates to lobby on the inside.
How good was the student’s strike for climate?
Last week, thousands of young people walked out of school to demand the federal government act decisively on climate change. There were actions around the country. The right wing commentariat and conservative MPs went into a melt down. Everyone else loved it. What an inspiration.
Check the hashtag #climatestrike on any platform for lots of fantastic images and reports or the School Strike 4 Climate Facebook.
Environment and climate a big issue in VIC election
The election is over, and while we are yet to see the final makeup of the parliament, especially the Upper House, it’s worth reflecting on how and where the environment mattered in the outcome.
FoE ran a huge on-the-ground campaign in inner and suburban areas, and climate, renewables (and the associated cost of living debate) and forests were key issues in the mainstream election campaign.
Please sign the petition to federal Minister Matt Canavan, and encourage others to do the same.
The online petition calls on the Minister to abandon divisive, disruptive proposals to establish a national nuclear waste dump in SA.
Adani to self fund mega coal mine
Adani has decided to self-fund the entirety of its Carmichael coal project planned for central Queensland.
FoE affiliate project Market Forces, which has been a key voice in the campaign against the mine, responded by pointing out that “this is an act of desperation from Adani, which knows the window of opportunity to build its Carmichael mega coal mine is rapidly closing. It’s also an admission of failure, as the company has tried and failed for almost a decade to find a financial backer and now has no option but to move its unpopular project ahead with its own capital”.
The campaign against this highly destructive project is far from over.
Minsters of the Murray Darling Basin will come together one last time before the end of the year.
After a year of pushing ahead with the Basin Plan despite communities calling for well planned policy, we'll be greeting them to say "Healthy Rivers need Water!"
Join us for the rally in Melbourne, December 14th.
Time and location are still being finalised as details of the meeting are not public yet. Keep an eye on the Facebook event for latest details.
River Country has ballooned this year after the Broken Heel Action. help us make big things happen next year with an end of year donation.
Genetically Modified Babies!? What Next!?
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last week (and we wouldn’t blame you), you’ve no doubt heard about He Jiankui – the rogue Chinese genetic engineer. He claims to have produced the world’s first genetically modified (GM) babies using the new GM technique CRISPR. He’s announcement was made on the eve of the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong.
Although his claims have yet to be independently verified, scientists – with the notable exception of George Church, a gung ho US geneticist – have been quick to condemn his actions. In the wake of He’s bombshell, several scientists, including the CRISPR pioneer Feng Zhang and the stem-cell biologist Paul Knoepfler, have justifiably called for a moratorium on similar experiments.
Kick-Starting a Powerful Idea for Justice
Friends of the Earth’s Economic Justice collective was proud to host Sheung So, an organiser and strategist from Hong Kong who started the Electronics Watch campaign that supports workers movements across Asia. The Electronics Watch campaign is a simple idea:
The Electronics industry is currently damaging people and the planet for profit.
Governments buy about 20% of the world's electronics.
Governments should use their buying power to ensure positive change in electronics supply chains.
Electronics Watch has already brought together $2.6bn AUD worth of collective contractual leverage from European Public sector buyers, which is assisting in improving human rights and environment protection on the ground. Yet policy and practice in Australia is far less developed. We used Shueng’s visit to kick start our campaign for Electronics Watch here in Australia; with a protest at Samsung HQ, taking part in the Australian Corporate Accountability Conference and meetings with meeting with universities, government officials, unions and activists across the country.
To find out more about this campaign please contact [email protected]
Please send in a submission to the federal Department opposing the plan to dump on SA.
This submission process is important ‒ the government will use it to claim 'broad community support' for the dump if it does not receive lots of opposing submissions. Please write your own submission or simply add you name to the submission drafted by the SA Conservation Council ‒ it will only take a minute of your time!
Whilst you are here, please make a tax deductible donation. Friends of the Earth relies on donations from people like you to keep running campaigns for social and environmental justice.