Sustainability

Trade deals must not be negotiated in secret

Trade deals affect people’s everyday lives from the food we eat to the energy we use, and should not be discussed in secret, behind closed doors. Yet sadly, this is exactly what is happening at this year’s upcoming World Trade Organization meeting in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December.

Friends of the Earth International has been advocating for a fair and sustainable trade agenda for over two decades, yet this is the first time we have been banned from participating in the WTO.

In an unprecedented move, the Argentine government revoked our accreditation, together with 60 individuals from a diverse range of trade unions, farmers’ and consumer rights organisations.

The official reason for our ban is that we have “been making explicate calls for violent protests on social media, desiring to create scenes of chaos and intimidation.” Yet this information can be disproved simply by checking our Twitter account, which has never made incitements to violence.
“Locking people out of the WTO will only further undermine its legitimacy.”

At the same time, we do not shy away disagreeing with many of the pro-corporate policies and deals being pushed by the WTO and the Argentine government, which are often stumbling blocks for action on climate change.

When India’s National Solar Mission, which aims to bring energy to millions of people by building 100 GW of solar energy, was found “guilty” by the WTO of creating local jobs, we spoke up.

We have also protested WTO policies that penalise and prohibit developing countries from undertaking public stockholding programmes. This blocks food sovereignty for the world’s poorest, and livelihoods for peasant, indigenous and small-scale farmers, yet allows the EU and USA to provide massive global market distorting subsidies that beef up agribusiness interests while ruining farmers abroad.

A crackdown on our rights to debate and oppose such trade policies is an attack on our ability to decide what kind of world we want to live in.Read more >>

Westgate Tunnel hearings nothing but concerns

Since I started as the FoE & PTNT Sustainable Cities campaigner I have been continually shocked as I learn more about the Transurban $5.5 billion mega-toll road proposed for Melbourne’s West.

What started as a much needed proposal to get noisy, poisonous trucks off the residential streets of Melbourne’s inner West has now morphed into a crazy plan to lock the West into a car dependent future. Titled a tunnel, it actually consists of a 12-lane toll way, short tunnel, 3 giant bridges across the Maribyrnong River, then an 18-lane double-decker road leading to spaghetti interchanges and flyovers.

For the last few weeks, I have joined concerned residents from the west at the environmental effects (EES) hearings of the project.

Here, with the lawyers and the bureaucrats, ordinary citizens are trying to digest the 10,000 pages of environmental effects information in an insultingly short time. Many of the representatives are volunteers – residents and community groups that don’t have dedicated employees or professional experts to untangle the volume of information within the documents.

As Rosa McKenna from Better West – Spotswood South Kingsville Residents Group says “the government and Transurban are trying to push this project though, but we know it is wrong for so many reasons: shifting truck traffic onto other inner west streets in Hobsons Bay, with the health and safety implications, and locking us into decades more of road based infrastructure”.… Read more >>

AYCC seeks crowdfunding for billboard promoting Repower Port Augusta campaign

Australian Youth Climate Change Coalition is active in promoting renewable energy for South Australia. Now is a critical time. Can you help?

Imagine what it will feel like to finally win the campaign to repower Port Augusta with solar thermal! 

That decision could happen in just weeks. And we’re SO excited and SO nervous.

That’s why together we have to make a statement in the Adelaide CBD with this billboard, just down the road from Parliament House. Can you donate to send a message to Premier Weatherill and the SA Government that it’s time to back solar thermal in Port Augusta?

Every $4,000 raised means we can display the billboard for another fortnight so every dollar you contribute makes a big difference.

For the last 5 years, Port Augusta locals, South Australians and folks across the country have been fighting tooth and nail to make solar thermal a reality. Now, on the eve of the Premier’s decision, we have to make sure it’s the right one.

The right decision for SA’s power supply, for the people of Port Augusta, for our climate and for our national energy debate.

We are so close. We just need Jay to come through with the goods. Chip in what you can to put this billboard up right under Jay’s nose.

This is the final push of the campaign to build Australia’s first solar thermal tower with storage. We’ve thrown everything at this campaign – billboards, rallies, community votes, videos, petitions, MP visits, banners, walking 328km for solar…

This could be the public message that pushes Jay over the edge.

 … Read more >>

SA votes: Solar Thermal or Gas? Add your voice

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) are running a campaign to let SA Premier Jay Weatherill know that South Australians want additional power to be supplied by solar thermal with molten salt storage in Pt Augusta, not more polluting gas. Mr Weatherill is likely to make his decision by June 2017 so its important to let him know your wishes right now.

Please vote for solar thermal at the link and share with your friends, family and colleagues.

Contact AYCC here.… Read more >>

SA drink container deposits turn 40!

Friends of the Earth’s campaigning was instrumental in getting legislation introduced in 1977 to require a refund of the deposit on the price of drink cans and bottles.

Campaigners marched from Adelaide Uni to the steps of Parliament House to roll thousands of cans down the steps.

Refer to the following article.

From the article:

Sustainability Minister Ian Hunter said “About 580 million drink containers are recycled in the state every year.”

“The Government said the state’s waste and recycling sector employs almost 5,000 South Australians”

Congratulations to members of Friends of the Earth active during the 70s. We await the rest of Australia and the world to catch on.… Read more >>